MASON CITY, Iowa – A company is closing one of its four stores in North Iowa.
Clothing store Emerson’s at the Willow is shutting down after five years in business but the owner says other locations in Mason City, Clear Lake, and Osage will remain open.
“It may be a bit confusing because we have two stores in Willowbrook Mall. Our apparel store will be closing; our medical scrubs store will remain open and serving our area’s front-line care givers,” says owner Ken Emerson. “Our store in Osage will continue sell men’s and women’s apparel and our Clear Lake store will remain focused on womenswear.”
Emerson’s at the Willow will hold a store closing sale Friday from 9 am to 8 pm, Saturday from 9 am to 4 pm, and Sunday from 11 am to 4 pm. It will then return to normal hours until all remaining inventory is sold.
Ken Emerson says he has been in business for 21 years, opening in Osage in 1999, Clear Lake in 2007, a uniform store in Willowbrook Mall in 2008 and then Emerson’s at the Willow in 2015. He says changing consumer habits and the coronavirus pandemic both played a role in the decision to close one location.
“When we were hit, we were hit by everything. Customers were coming in and saying they’re working from home these days and don’t need work clothes. “We’ve seen that change, too, with larger employers who aren’t buying as much clothing with company logos as they do when everyone is working in the office,” says Emerson. “We know that, good or bad, things always change, and we recognized that it was important for us to do some regrouping and reorganizing to adjust to those changes. We’re always looking for products that are made in America or Canada, that are different, and that meet our customers’ needs. That’s why we continue to have the largest selection of Birkenstock shoes in this area, by far, and why we offer Red Wing shoes and boots.”