Kim Kletschke here. My brother, Kal, and I are owners and managers of Karlton's Men's Clothiers & Tailors in downtown Sioux City. In an effort to leave no one out, we could think of no better way to say "thank you" to our countless friends, customers, vendors and business neighbors than to send this Letter for all to read.

It's bittersweet news that our decision to close the store will end the region's longest running time span for a locally owned clothing store at 57 years. However, our entire crew of lifelong workers and tailors (all with a minimum of 32 years with Karlton's) are anxious to hang up our tape measures and start enjoying retirement.

In 1960, our father Karlton (Karl) opened up his first store at 510 Fifth St., Karl's Prep & Harvard Shop. Seven years later he bought out his former employer, Clarence Michelson, at Fifth and Pierce streets and changed the name from Mickelson's to Karlton's. In 1972, we merged Karl's and Karlton's into our current larger location at 515 Fourth St.

The low-pressure "family feel" our dad had the vision to instill in his stores since day one created an atmosphere so comfortable it made customers want to return from generation to generation ... and, in almost all cases, made new hires end up being co-workers for life.

With our children all in other cities or different professions, the timing is perfect to liquidate our fabulous inventory, sell our building and enjoy the fruits of retirement.

Kal and I remember our days as 16-year-old sophomores at Central High School, walking down the hill to work after school and on every Saturday when there were eight men's stores and four full-line department stores downtown.

From your friends at Karlton's, thanks again to all of you out there for a great ride and helping Karlton's to be the "last man standing." - Kim Kletschke, Kal Kletschke, John, Darrell, Kiki and Pete

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