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Four decades strong at Schweitzer's

Posted: Tuesday, Nov 27th, 2012

photo by Jon Stinnett Father/son team Al (right) and Tim Schweitzer with longtime employee Betty Webb. Schweitzer's marked 40 years in business downtown last spring.

You may not have realized it, but Schweitzer’s Casual Men’s Wear marked four decades of business in Cottage Grove last May.

“I kept it pretty quiet,” said owner Al Schweitzer. “I don’t like to put my name out there that way.” Which may be an interesting comment from someone with his name painted in huge letters on the side of the building at 730 East Main St. downtown.

Schweitzer was no stranger to retail when he went into business in Cottage Grove, having worked at Bon Marche in Eugene for 17 years.

“I always wanted my own retail store when the time was right,” he said. That time came with the death of the previous owner of the store at 730 E. Main, a Mr. William Prager. In 1971, Schweitzer saw an ad in the newspaper offering the business for sale.

“I knew I could set myself up well with the merchandise he had in here,” Schweitzer said. “I just started opening the doors to people. The store had the same lights you see in here now, but there was so much stuff in here, you couldn’t see any of them. He wasn’t letting people shop at all. He would ask people what they wanted and then go get it for them. I guess he was afraid people would steal from him.”

Eventually, Schweitzer began selling the products that are familiar to shoppers at his shop even today—clothing for the area’s workers and western wear. Why western apparel?

For the complete article see the 11-28-2012 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 11-28-2012 paper.

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