As old as Coca-Cola: Mitchell’s Department Store to close

137 years of family owned and operated ends in 2023
Mitchells' Department Store has been family-owned for four generations.
Published: Dec. 29, 2022 at 6:00 PM EST
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LESLIE, Mich. (WILX) - When you think of department stores, you may think of Macy’s, Kohls, or even Target. Although none of those examples have been family owned and operated for 137 years.

Mitchell’s department store in Leslie has been connecting with customers for more than a century.

“I look forward to coming into my job,” said Sheryl Butcher

Sheryl Butcher has clocked in at Mitchell’s for 12 years. She said it’s not hard to see what makes the store special.

“There’s just nothing left out there, I don’t think, that is gonna really take over where we’ve left off,” said Butcher, “We take care take of the customers, we all know each other by our first names, they (the Mitchells) are definitely a pillar of the community.”

Now in their 70′s, owners Jim and Nancy Mitchell are hanging up their hats for retirement. Jim Mitchell said they look forward to more golf, more vacations, and “spending more time with the grandkids.”

After making it through two World Wars, the Great Depression, and a global pandemic, (it’s also worth noting that Coca-Cola sold its first drink the same year Mitchell’s opened) the family-run store is getting ready to print its last receipt.

“It’s been something I’ve been mulling over for a couple of years or so. It’s been a tough decision,” said Jim Mitchell.

Through all of the years, the fourth-generation owner says one thing has stood the test of time.

“The people,” he asserted.

For the Mitchell’s and their few employees, it’s all about the human connections.

“The relationships we’ve had over the past, they’ve meant a lot to us,” he said.

If you want to shop at Mitchell’s, you’re not too late. They’ll remain open over the next few months to clear out some more inventory.

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