End of an era in Toledo shopping - Loyal customers say goodbye to Andersons stores

End of an era in Toledo shopping - Loyal customers say goodbye to Andersons stores
(Source: WTOL)
(Source: WTOL)

MAUMEE, OH (WTOL) - It's the end of a local shopping era.

Not since the closure and subsequent fire at Tiedtke's in the 1970s have shoppers in Toledo felt so deeply about the passing of a local retail institution.

The two Andersons stores in our area closed for good on Saturday.

Customers and former employees came by for one final nostalgic visit.

There were no groceries to buy.

It was strictly equipment and fixtures used to support the stores.

"I think it's terrible," said shopper Olen Fairchild.

Most shoppers left empty handed.

But they did walk away with a lifetime of memories.

"I mean this is like an icon. You don't get things like here other places," said longtime customer Judy Fairchild.

The store's variety made it a unique place to buy groceries and other household goods. Joe Sudlow.

"Different beers, foods, things like that. We enjoyed coming here for that reason," said Joe Sudlow.

In January, the Andersons announced they were closing their remaining four retail stores including the Maumee and Talmadge Road locations.

The stores were drowning in red ink.

Hundreds of employees lost their jobs.

"I've always associated myself with the Andersons because I grew up here," said Bob Bethel, who left the Andersons in 1998 after a 22-year career with the company.

He thinks the Andersons has a unique work culture he now uses in his human resource training.

"They take care of their customers, employees, their community and their shareholders. That's still an important piece of what they do," said Bob.

The Andersons will now focus on other divisions such as grain, rail, ethanol and plant nutrients.

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