Wilke's True Value store closing after 22 years in Kearney
Nine years ago, a massive fire destroyed Wilke's True Value in Kearney and the inventory inside. Owner Lloyd Wilke said it took a year to rebuild with a new structure and updated merchandise. Now nearly a decade later and 22 total years of business on the city's east side, the store is set to close its doors for good.
Lloyd helped one of his customers on Monday as he and his staff prepare for a liquidation sale at Wilke's True Value. Lloyd said he and his wife have been discussing the idea of retirement for several months, calling it a bittersweet time for them.
Over the past 22 years, he said the branding of the store may have changed, but one thing has always been a constant for them.
"Oh the people," Lloyd said. "The people are the key, going to miss talking to the people, the regular customers, we've had so many of them come through the doors already congratulating us and wishing us well but also feeling sorry they're going to lose a place to shop that's handy for them."
The Kearney store will stay open until all the inventory is gone, but the Ravenna location will remain open.
The Wilkes plan on traveling after retirement.