Laacke & Joys ex­plains ‘re­tire­ment sale’

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - - Business - Paul Gores

Is out­door equip­ment re­tailer Laacke & Joys go­ing out of busi­ness?

The an­swer is a bit com­pli­cated. An email sent by Laacke & Joys an­nounced a re­tire­ment sale, and the Brook­field com­pany’s web­site says com­pany pres­i­dent Mar­sha Mather is re­tir­ing.

“Mar­sha is re­tir­ing and she can’t take it with her, so the en­tire store is on sale,” the web­site de­clares. Both the email and web­site say Laacke & Joys gift cards ex­pire on Dec. 31.

That has caused ques­tions among some Laacke & Joys cus­tomers.

But Mather’s hus­band and busi­ness part­ner, Terry Mather, said there ac­tu­ally are two par­ties in­ter­ested in buy­ing the re­tail busi­ness of Laacke & Joy. The com­pany’s lease ends in Jan­uary, and the re­tire­ment sale is just to make sure they’re not stuck with lots of in­ven­tory if fi­nanc­ing for the pur­chase doesn’t come through and a deal doesn’t take place, he said.

“We have two can­di­dates that are vy­ing for the pur­chase but we have not com­pleted that, so rather than wait, if that doesn’t hap­pen, we need to sell the in­ven­tory,” Terry Mather said. “Both of them have agreed they would buy the re­main­ing in­ven­tory at what­ever time they pur­chased the com­pany.” Hence, the re­tire­ment sale. Terry Mather, 76, said he and Mar­sha, 69, are re­tir­ing only from the re­tail side of Laacke & Joys Co. They’ll con­tinue to run its man­u­fac­tur­ing busi­ness.

The man­u­fac­tur­ing unit makes many spe­cial­ized prod­ucts, such as ac­ces­sories used in med­i­cal imag­ing, park­ing me­ter cov­ers and chairs for se­cu­rity work­ers who must sit and watch video mon­i­tors for hours.

Laacke & Joys was founded in 1844, while Wis­con­sin was still a ter­ri­tory, and orig­i­nally sup­plied cordage, cov­ers, oars, tackle blocks and more for com­mer­cial sail­ing ves­sels. It has been a fix­ture in the Mil­wau­kee area ever since.

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