The Store That Started A Town

Opened in 1900 and closed in 2013, The oldest family owned store in Alaska.

In 1900, T.W. Hawkins, from Roanoke, Virginia, and Charles Brown, from Montreal, Canada, were sitting around the docks in Valdez, Alaska, waiting for a steam ship to go home. They had gone to Alaska for the gold rush, and it hadn’t panned out. One of them said “Let’s don’t go home, let’s start a town.” So they loaded up their mules and horses on barges and sailed around the bend and started Seward.

They built a building, and Hawkins ran the retail side while Brown started a banking business. The business grew and prospered until it became a grocer, clothier, hardware dealer, ship chandler, and banker to all of western Alaska.

Hugh Darling, a grandson of Hawkins, and his wife Iris took over the business in 1989. The store had been in the same family longer than any store in Alaska. When Hugh and Iris decided to retire, they knew they needed help to get the best return. They chose Wingate because of our vast experience. The sale was highly profitable with advertising expense only running 1.3% of sales.

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Is COVID-19 Effecting Your Business?Now is the Time to Plan Your Sale

We are facing highly unusual times. Stores in many states, cities and counties have been forced to close, and the consumer has been encouraged to stay at home and only shop for necessary items. It now appears that things are beginning to break open, the consumer is starting to get out and retailers are going to have to aggressively go after every dollar they can get to cover lost sales.

The retail industry has lost their good spring selling season. Retailers are stuck with two seasons of merchandise. Now they must reopen with a strong sale and heavy advertising to generate customer traffic and raise a huge amount of cash. Out of season and over stocks need to be converted to cash while in season merchandise needs to be sold to make as much profit as possible. AND IT NEEDS TO BE DONE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!

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