North Idaho

Iconic Idaho store closes shop after 23 years of serving community

OLDTOWN, Idaho - Iconic Idaho store Ben Franklin Variety will be closing its doors after 23 years in business.

From craft supplies to phone chargers, to holiday décor and even hardware, if you needed it, Ben Franklin Variety probably had it. Shoppers came from all over to visit the Oldtown, Idaho spot.

Customers took advantage of liquidation sales Wednesday, and said goodbye to the beloved store.

As an independent, locally-owned and operated store, “Black Friday” isn't really the style at the Ben Franklin Variety.

But it was nothing short of holiday madness on Wednesday, when the popular store opened its doors for day 1 of its liquidation sale.

“This is probably the busiest day we've ever had,” said Manager Thomas Watson.

For two decades, the store has serviced Oldtown, Idaho.

But folks come from Spokane, Rathdrum, Bellingham, and even parts of Montana to stroll its aisles.

So when the store announced on Facebook that it would be closing its doors, the community was devastated.

“I think this is going to probably impact this community quite a bit,” said Robertson.

The property owner said in an email to KXLY that they "tried to offer them free rent to keep them going thru [sic] the holidays and prevent people from losing jobs. The Ben Franklin owners felt its time to retire at no fault of the property owner."

Be it fabric, or art supply, home good , or seasonal necessity, if you needed it, Ben Franklin could get it.

For the less than 200 people who live in Oldtown, they're losing a part of their community.

So, they're stocking up now.

Ben Franklin opened its doors for day one of its liquidation sale on Wednesday to lines of customers that wrapped around doors and aisles and displays, and wouldn't let up all day.