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Why Trader Horn Boot Center is closing

Trader Horn Boot Center is going out of business after 60 years in West Lafayette.

Posted: Jan. 22, 2018 4:52 PM
Updated: Jan. 22, 2018 6:54 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Trader Horn Boot Center is going out of business after 60 years in West Lafayette.

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Like most people, Logan Kolb does what's convenient.

"I was actually just out running errands today and I saw this place [Trader Horn] and I was like, I'll just go see if they have any," said Kolb. 


He bought his boots online but waterproof boot spray was a quick after thought.

"Stuff like this I'd rather have it right now as opposed to waiting two weeks," said Kolb. "Other stuff, if it's bigger and I can get it cheaper online, I'll just wait until I can get it."

Trader Horn owner John Widmer said that doesn't surprise him.

"It's just a trend that people are going to," said Widmer. 

In Widmer's 31 years as owner, he said he could see this closure coming once the internet became more popular.

"I can't help it, it's just a decision we had to make," said Widmer. 

The decision to close wasn't easy. Widmer loves his customers and wants to thank all of them.

"Especially Cargill and Tate and Lyle," said Widmer. "Tremendous support from them."

"It's kind of sad to see local stores close down," said Kolb. "But it's also just something in our society now, people want convenience and they don't necessarily want to deal with people all of the time."

But Widmer will miss dealing with them.

"When they are in here, I say I appreciate your business," said Widmer. 

He plans to keep saying that until it all runs out.

"I've got some inventory to sell," said Widmer. 

Boots aren't the only thing for sale at Trader Horn. There are a lot of historical items up for grabs, including a cash register from the 1920s. There's a lot to see, Widmer recommends coming in and checking it out for yourself.

"We sold quality, we didn't sell the cheap stuff," said Widmer. 

Widmer expects the inventory to last until March.

He said he isn't sure what's next for him or the building.

News 18 hopes to meet up with city leaders later this week to talk about this closure as well as several other vacancies on that Sagamore Parkway stretch.

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