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Butch Hoffer's clothing store to close after almost 40 years in Parkdale Mall

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Butch Hoffer's upscale clothing store in Parkdale Mall is in its final days.

Owner Lewis Hoffer says the last 40 years have taken their toll and he's ready to retire.  
     
Hoffer's was the first locally owned store in Parkdale Mall when it moved into its space in 1973. It was founded by Lewis's father Isadore "Butch" Hoffer as an army surplus store in 1937.

On Tuesday Lewis Hoffer was doing what he loves most, helping his customers.

"If you walk in I know exactly what I'm going to show you, I can size you up and tell," he said.

But after almost 40 years at his boutique in the mall, he says he's ready to move on.

"It's home to me, the customers are amazing, our employees are very special to all of us, it's like a family, but I'm just tired. And when you're done, you just have to go to the next chapter and that's what I'm doing," Hoffer said.

Even the signs in the store's front window read "Tired! - Time to Quit".

Cynthia Fontenot, a long time employee of Hoffer's, says, "We've shared births, deaths, marriages... I felt like I was losing another family member, actually a lot of family members, that's what all of us are here, a big family."

Now shoppers are busy taking advantage of the store's "Everything Must Go" sale. Name brand clothing for 25-50% off.

The customers are what Hoffer says he'll miss most.

"It's not the business, and it's not the merchandise. I will miss seeing people that come in here so frequently," he said.

"Most of them are kind of upset, and shocked, like they think we're getting younger instead of older!" Fontenot said.

The shop has been Hoffer's whole life...

"The whole thing!" he exclaimed. "The discussion at the dinner table was the store!"

And while he says the decision was a tough one, he says it's for the best, saying, "It was kind of a knot in my stomach for a little while, and once you finally make the decision, you don't look back."

Hoffer says he plans to spend his retirement traveling, hunting, and fishing.

He also says there is no timetable for the store to close, saying it will stay open until the last item is sold.

 

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