DE PERE, Wis. ‒ Don Zegers, who has spent nearly 45 years serving customers in the local retail community, said today that he will sell his entire inventory and close the doors on his 27-year-old business, Zegers Clothiers.
“It’s been a great run. I couldn’t ask for more from the city, the surrounding area and our customers, but it’s the right time,” Zegers said.
Thursday is the first day of the store’s four-day retirement sale. Zegers Clothiers, located in the Lee Building at 124 N. Broadway St., will be open 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4:00 p.m. Sunday during the sale. It will return to normal business hours until the remaining inventory is sold.
Zegers began his retail career at age 18, working at Van Dyk Clothing until that business closed. He worked at a local family department store, The White Store, before opening his own store in early 1993.
“There was a void for a men’s clothing store and the town is very supportive of small business. For me, it was a good time to start my own business and everything just worked out beautifully,” Zegers said. “I had a lot of relationships because I’d worked at the other two stores and it made the transition a little easier. De Pere and the area have just been so good to us. They got us off to a great start and we've been on a good run ever since.”
Zegers attributed the store’s long-running success to the ability to look at challenges in a positive light to overcome them, a commitment to sell quality products and an unwavering desire to deliver superior customer care.
“Meeting customers’ needs, especially with personalized service, has always been our niche that larger stores and the internet didn’t offer. I love working the floor,” Zegers said. “The best part is when a customer comes in and we can fulfill their clothing needs. If someone comes in and needs a suit the next day, we’ll do it. I learned a long time ago that if you take care of the customer, they’ll take care of you. And our customers have been very good to us from the day we opened our doors. I’ll miss the customer interaction; it’s always been my favorite part of the job.”
He also praised neighboring businesses and the city’s government for their shared commitment to the local economy, which included resurrecting the Lee Building, where the store and other businesses are located. “All of us here are dedicated to personal service, working together, and providing a variety of products and services that keep shoppers in town and buying local,” he said.
Zegers is looking forward to at least one aspect of life after the heavy demands of owning and operating a retail business. “I’m looking forward to knowing what a weekend is like ‒ to go to a college football game or a farmers market on a Saturday,” he smiled.
“My wife, Terry, has been so supportive of the store and me, and now it’s time to spoil her.”
An avid golfer, he’s also planning on spending more time on the golf course to knock a few strokes off his average. And, he intends to visit his son, daughter-in-law and grandson in Cleveland more often. “In a few weeks, they’re expecting another child, and I want to spend more time with them,” he said.
One thing is certain to remain unchanged: Zegers will continue to live in De Pere.
“I’ve spent my whole life in De Pere,” Zegers said. “I won’t ever forget my roots and I don’t really want to be anywhere else.”
# # # #