KOHLER, Wis. – After working 48 years at the men’s clothing business founded by his grandfather in 1909, Art Imig recently decided it was time to do something different. The only question was whether the right person or people could be found to take over the Art Imig’s store at the Shops of Woodlake.
Imig found his answer with two Fond du Lac businessmen, Ric and Jake Toman, a father-son team who own DDT Clothing, which specializes in retail promotions and other milestone sales events. The Tomans came in to assist with a store closing sale and opted instead to buy the business.
“My brother, Bob, and I had been talking about my exit strategy. We worked with Ric and Jake in 2009 for our 100th anniversary sale and we’ve stayed in touch. We had several stores from surrounding states contact us, but things just didn’t sit right. When we decided to do the retirement sale, I kiddingly dropped it on them, ‘You guys should think about buying the store’ and Jake said, ‘I’ll let you know tomorrow.’
“Things really fell into place from there,” said Imig, who also owns a dry cleaning store in Sheboygan with his brother, Bob. “Ric and Jake are two of the nicest guys I’ve ever met and to find a father and son who are interested in carrying on a 104-year-old tradition and have the passion for menswear as we do is really exciting.”
The Tomans have purchased Art Imig’s Clothing. Art Imig’s, Inc., which owns and operates a dry cleaning, laundering and tailoring business will continue to be under Art Imig. Bob Imig will remain with Art Imig Clothing, handling day-to-day operations. “He’s really looking forward to carrying on the family name,” Art Imig added.
To mark the occasion, the Imigs and Tomans decided to go forward with the retirement sale in Art’s honor at their Kohler store, 795D Woodlake Road. It is open to the public starting Thursday.
Imig, 70, started working in the family business in 1965 after graduating from Beloit College. “Working with my grandfather, dad, family and a great team of employees has been very rewarding. Anyone in business as long as we have had to do a few things right along the way,” Imig said. “I have four children and nine grandchildren. It’s about time I start spending more time with my grandkids and traveling, which my wife and I love to do.”
The Art Imig’s store at the Shops at Woodlake Kohler opened in March 1987 and has seen some of the biggest names in business, politics and sports thanks to the four championship golf courses at The American Club Resort. Imig said Jake Toman will take on a leading role at the business.
He emphasized there will be no other changes in staffing or store operations. In fact, Imig is going forward with the mid-October food and wine weekend that has featured chefs and wine experts from across the country and drawn guests from all surrounding states.
“Our goal for 104 years has been to deliver quality merchandise and service. These fellows exemplify that spirit and have the characteristics we’ve always had in our family,” Imig said. “They’re very open and honest. They appreciate people. And, they’ll continue what we stand for. It’s great for the city, the Shops at Woodlake, our family and the Toman family.”
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