GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Seven decades after opening, the next step for one of Grand Rapids' oldest downtown businesses is to close.
Van Hoecks Shoes on Monroe Center is going out of business. The last leg is liquidation. The going out of business sale starts Thursday.
Van Hoecks Shoes is a dream for shopaholics.
"I love shoes. These are like Cole Haans, but half the price," said shopper Julia Patzelt.
And, its owner says, it gives them options they can't get anywhere else.
"We filled a niche for people, like Dan who wears a 14 narrow," said Van Hoecks Shoes owner Greg Clarin.
That's Dan Polkowski. For him, Van Hoecks Shoes has helped avoid a shopping nightmare.
"Really I don't have big feet," said Polkowski. "I just have extremely long toes."
"He can't find shoes anyplace unless he goes to the Internet," said Clarin.
But online shopping is part of the problem: Today's shoes sales are less about sit and fit and more about point and click.
"The last four years have been very difficult," said Clarin.
On top of that is rising rent costs. And, Clarin said, there's less downtown shopping.
"Downtown's been missing retail for a long time. They are going to miss us," he said.
Many will miss the 70-year-old store.
"Bummer. Where am I going to get my shoes now?" asked Polkowski.
Now, shoppers are stocking up.
"Since they are going to be closing, I am going to get two pair," said Polkowski. "Sorry you guys are going out, but I got shoes for a few years now.
GRAM Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony in front of a festive downtown crowd at Rosa Parks Circle Friday night.
Two people were taken to the hospital after one vehicle crossed the center line, causing a head-on crash in Ada Township Friday night.
Police say snow is making roads "treacherous" and are urging people to stay home if possible.