Bob Jones Shoes, a fixture at 1914 Grand Blvd. since 1960, is closing.
Its “final sale” will start on Sept. 4.
“This is terrible news,” lamented customer Jane Bunnell of Prairie Village on Tuesday at the store. “This is the end of one of the great ones. ... I can’t decide how many dozen I need to buy. I’m going out of here with dozens.”
The late Bob Jones and Ernest “Ernie” Horowitz first became partners in Bob Jones Outlet, selling a variety of discounted general merchandise — jewelry, motor oil, underwear, even mink coats.
In 1976, Horowitz and his son, Rocky, purchased Jones’ share. Then Horowitz’s son-in-law, Harry Bosley, joined the business in 1983 and the “shoe side of the business” took over everything else.
They said they traveled the world to find distinctive merchandise at affordable prices, drawing customers from all over the country.
Ernie Horowitz died in 2011, and Jones in 2014. Now Rocky Horowitz and Bosley are retiring.
“I’m going to miss the customers. It’s been generations of families coming through here. I’ve watched them all grow up,” Horowitz said.
Don Gessen of Block Real Estate Services has the 25,762-square-foot building with a 25-space parking lot for sale. It is four buildings, circa 1915, joined together.
Gessen also is a longtime customer: “I don’t own any shoes that didn’t come from Bob Jones.”