For 112 years, Norby's Department Store has been an anchor of downtown Detroit Lakes. No, its inventory was never as big as Target's or Amazon's, but you could find just about everything you needed.
Sadly, after being owned and operated by the Norby family for four generations, the store is going out of business. Its brick facade with the big, turquoise-and-white sign over the doors is now plastered with going out of business signs.
"It's been a decision that's been in the making for several years now," co-owner and president Michael Norby said. "It comes right down to simple economics.
Norby said his family business was able to weather numerous disruptions to the retail industry over the years including the proliferation of big box stores like Walmart. But they couldn't compete against online retailers like Amazon and the websites of their own vendors like The North Face.
Norby says he worries about what impact their closure will have on other retailers in Detroit Lakes.
"In any downtown it takes all oars in the water, pulling together, and yes, while we're competing against our fellow businesses down the way, we know, in the end we need each other to survive," Norby said.
Norby's is closed now, but it will re-open on June 7 and stay open until everything in the 25,000 square-foot store is gone.
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