A longtime downtown Antioch clothing store is set to close because the husband-and-wife owners say they are ready to retire.
Lance and Sue Hansen, who have owned the Four Squires store at 414 Lake St. since 2007, said they plan to spend time with family. The store will close sometime after an inventory sale, which runs through the weekend.
"It could be 30 days from now; it could be three weeks from now," Lance Hansen said of its closing. "I have a lot of inventory to sell."
The store has been in Antioch since the chain was established in 1972. Four Squires on Lake Street is the last of the stores in the chain to close.
Lance Hansen, who has been in the clothing business for more than 50 years, said he did not expect to retire this year.
"We just finished our last prom in Antioch, and that, to me, was important. It was kind of our last goodbye. It's bittersweet because those kids are going off to college, and they could have been our future customers," he said. "But, when you reach a certain age like I have, you have to worry about your health."
Antioch Mayor Lawrence Hanson said the closing of Four Squires is a loss for the village.
"It is not a good day in Antioch because we don't want to lose anybody," Hanson said. "It's definitely going to be missed. The type of quality that this store had is what the village is all about."
Lance Hansen said he started working with Four Squires in 1972 as a men's clothing buyer. He bought one of the company's stores in DeKalb in 1977.
He sold the DeKalb store in 2002, after 25 years in business, to become a manager at the Antioch store.
"I have a home in Wisconsin, so it was kind of an easy transition," he said. "Plus, I was getting older and thought it would be a great retirement job."
Lance Hansen transitioned from store manager to co-owner with his wife, Sue, in April 2007, after the previous owner retired. He said owning a clothier has changed over the years.
"I think that there is a different type of challenge to retail today; there are lots of places you can go shopping now like the Internet." he said. "I think people still enjoy and appreciate customer service, though, and there are still great specialty stores that are privately owned out there, but a lot are gone, so I hate to close."
It was not an easy decision to retire, Lance Hansen said.
"I would work probably until I'm 100," he said.
Lance Hansen said he wishes he could have outdone his mom, who worked at a Dillard's department store in Arizona until she was 88 years old.
"You won, Mom," he said.
The Hansens are now selling their entire store inventory.
"It becomes pretty expensive for someone to buy a store, so we would have had to reduce our entire inventory anyway," Lance Hansen said.
Antioch Village Administrator James Keim said he knows of no plans to fill the retail space right now.
"We have a challenge ahead of us as a community," said Hanson, who is a downtown business owner in addition to being mayor. "We have always had great retail and entertainment. We don't want to lose that. This isn't something that we are used to, so we need to reidentify ourselves in the next few years."