Until Wednesday, owners of Mize Department Store offered no explanation for closing its doors after Saturday business. Owners Mike Bay and Anita Standridge wrote in a brief statement that, " Although we have had many successful years in the retail business, as an independent locally owned store, we are unable to continue trying to compete with big name chains." Mize is a dinosaur in the retail world. As much as customers will miss its open doors, mass marketing is attracting many buyers.
Mize store windows were always fashioned with stylish dresses and suits. The huge yellow signs announcing 'quitting business' are completely out of character. Former owner Jack Mathews peered in the window as more signs were hung from the store's ceiling inside. " Oh, aren't they tacky signs," he couldn't help to say. Mathews wears Mize clothes from head to toe. He always took pride in Mize's appearance and service. "We wanted to always keep the image Mize had of good quality merchandise, excellent service and wonderful selections."
Mize served customers for 82 years. NEDCO Vice President Donna Maisel recalled how Bay opened up the store after hours so her husband could pick up an altered suit that he forgot to pick up for a special event. Maisel said, " It's something that is very heartfelt and will be greatly missed and will be a big loss in our community."
The times were changing when Mathews sold five years ago. The new owners' efforts to continue what the customer expected were not only noticed, but appreciated. NEDCO President Judy McDonald says her bank account reflects all the time and money she's spent at her favorite store. " They stepped up to the plate and provided that opportunity for the community as well as the region. We all owe them a deep dept of gratitude. "