Tuesday, January 15, 2013

History of Kline's - Part 5

Kline's carried on in Lorain right through the 1960s and into the 1970s. But on January 28, 1975, the sad article at left appeared near the bottom of page 3 of that day's Lorain Journal.

Here's the text of the article by Mark Ellis, Staff Writer (below).


Lorain Was First in Chain
Kline's Department Store To Close After 62 Years

Staff Writer

KLINE'S DEPARTMENT store, a downtown Lorain business landmark since 1913, will close its doors in 90 days.

Kline's managment announced the decision yesterday to 34 employes.

The Lorain store was the first in a national chain which now includes 25 stores based in New York City.

Kline's assistant manager, Brian Sekardi, said the store is closing "because we incurred too many losses."

Ever since the Mall opened, we haven't been able to recover. We haven't been able to generate the traffic. We hoped to be able to recover (from the Mall's opening) in two years. It's been nine years.

"The store's sentimental to us. It's the very first our chain had. We've discussed closing it numerous times. We didn't want to close this store."

SEKARDI SAID Kline's management is trying to place employes in other stores in the area.

"We had an unusual amount of longevity here. I've got nine girls who have been here 10 years or longer. We have a loyal employe structure."

Sekardi said there will be no "big give - away sales" at the 610 Broadway store in its last days.

The store was opened here by Jacob and George Kline. It enjoyed success under the 37 year direction of civic leader B.B. Weintraub who left in 1963. Charles Coulson ran the store from 1963 until July, 1974 when Paul Schlobohn took over. He was unavailable for comment today.

The store underwent a major remodeling in 1963.


Ken said...

Some time in the early 80's I happened to be on Broadway and 6th one night and saw open doors on the Kline's building, and activity outside! It had opened as a bar, a huge one, with a stage and a dance floor, live band, everything. You had to walk down a long, broad flight of stairs to get into it. I went in and got a beer, and sat there trying to picture the place as it had been, twenty years before, when Mom had led me down a flight of stairs that led I didn't know where, and I was so surprised to find myself in Kline's and Grandma waiting for us down there! Tried to picture it-- but couldn't do it. The music was too loud. I never went back.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Klines history. I have many memories there. Credit to them for not giving in and going to the Mall. Never knew it was a chain, thought there was a Mr Kline in Lorain.