Maurices, located at 1634 Commerce St. in Wahpeton, is closing its doors this month. Saturday, Jan. 26 is expected to be the last day of business.
Jennifer Kolbe, Maurices manager, has been with the store since it opened in downtown Wahpeton on Thanksgiving weekend of 1994. The present store along the 210 Bypass opened in October 2010.
“It’s the company’s decision to close,” Kolbe said. “Retail is kind of a tough business right now.”
Megan Timm, public relations manager for Maurices, confirmed that the Wahpeton store is the only location closing in the near-future.
“The underperformance of this particular store was driving the decision,” Timm said. “This was a single decision based on a single store’s performance.”
Maurices, owned by Ascena Retail Group, currently has 950 locations in the United States and Canada. The Wahpeton location is on a parcel of land owned by Curtis and Suzanne Hurson of Wimauma, Florida, according to records for Richland County, North Dakota.
“Maurices’ corporation has been leasing that land,” Wahpeton Community Development Director Chris DeVries said. “I know their lease is up at the end of the month.”
Timm noted that in addition to shopping on Maurices’ website, the Fergus Falls, Minnesota store is remaining open.
“We’re certainly proud to have served this community,” she said.
Sarah Fread of Gwinner, North Dakota, browsed through the Wahpeton Maurices on Thursday, Jan. 3.
“I just saw the closing sign,” Fread said. “I didn’t know until then.”
Shopping for Fread is divided by online purchases and visiting brick and mortar stores. She considers herself an occasional Maurices customer and was looking around for shoes and a top during her visit.
“It is something special (to be in a store). I’m very surprised we’re losing the store. It’s sad,” Fread continued.
Kolbe and her employees, meanwhile, are preparing for the closure.
“We have our sign up,” Kolbe said. “We’re handing out the postcards to remind people and telling our regular customers. We appreciate all their business.”
Maurices first opened its doors at 412 Dakota Ave., currently the address of Total Personality. The 400 and 500 blocks of Dakota Avenue have long been known for fashion.
For decades, 502 Dakota Ave. housed the Stern Clothing Company. The building later housed Bon Jos, The Grain Bin and event Next Level Performance. It's currently home to indigo life + style. Across the street, The Golden Rule opened in the former J.C. Penney.
“There is no new product coming into the store. What we have is what we will sell through the closing,” Kolbe continued.
Maurices in Wahpeton is not expected to hold a special going out of business sale. Merchandise is currently 50-75 percent discounted through a chain-wide sale.
The Commerce Street location is open from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 12 p.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.
Kolbe said she’s staying in the Twin Towns Area.
“I’ve been here (with Maurices) from the start and now I’m ending it,” she added.