CLINTON — Paul’s Discount has announced that it will close its Iowa City store located at 424 Highway 1 West by July 31, according to Rob Cassidy, president and owner.
“Paul’s has elected not to renew its lease which ends on July 31st of this year,” Cassidy said of the Iowa City store. “It has become increasingly difficult for an independent retailer to survive in this day and age where economy of scale is needed to cover increasing costs of operation. We, like many other retailers, are also seeing a shift in market share as more and more consumers migrate to e-commerce sites.”
“We have operated in the Iowa City market for more than 36 years with great success," he said. "Much of this success is attributable to a dedicated team of employees, a loyal and passionate customer base and a great location. This was the least desired of outcomes that we evaluated due to the impact the decision has on these two groups of people.
“Trying to avoid a store closure we engaged a well-known and experienced investment banking firm 2 1/2 years ago to try and find a buyer for our business. We had hoped to partner with an existing retailer that would allow us to gain operational scale and help us update our technology in order for us to compete in today’s marketplace. Unfortunately the merger and acquisition market for retail is tepid and no such buyer has been found.”
“We have hired Wingate Sales Solutions, the longest-tenured store closing consulting company in the United States to assist us in closing our Iowa City store," he said. "The sale will begin on Thursday, April 12th and run for approximately 12 weeks ending sometime around the 4th of July. We will temporarily close our store beginning Monday, April 9th, for three days in order to finalize sale preparations.”
“Our store and warehouse are well stocked with inventory for this sale. With the breadth of our merchandise there will definitely be something for everyone. After all, if you can’t find it at Paul’s then you don’t need it.”
Paul’s Discount was originally founded by Paul “Parker” Cassidy and Bob Cassidy in 1964 when they opened their first store on U.S. 30 in Clinton. They opened their second location in Iowa City when they purchased Ken’s Auto & Farm from Ken and Shirley Ranshaw in 1981. The Iowa City location was managed by long-time business partner Joe Tobin from inception until his retirement in 2004.
“While it is with regret we announce the closure of our Iowa City store, we want to inform our loyal customers, employees and supporters that we intend to keep the Clinton location open. The operational situation in Clinton is different because we own the real estate and it is our home location where our administrative team currently resides and operates," Cassidy said.
“We encourage customers to redeem any unused gift certificates prior to June 15th. Any gift certificates not redeemed prior to the closure of the Iowa City store will be honored at our Clinton store," he said.
“We look forward to these next 12 weeks as an opportunity to celebrate 36 great years in the Iowa City market and want to use this sale to thank all of the former and current employees for their hard work and our customers for their loyal patronage," he said.