Putting in the work

Local ma and pop shop, Richter’s Men’s Wear, celebrates 50 years

Connie and Steve Richter pose for a portrait in Richter's Men's Wear on May 28. Steve and Connie took over the store in 1983 from Steve's parents Gardy and Hilde Richter. (Carter Jones/ FOCUS)

Connie and Steve Richter pose for a portrait in Richter's Men's Wear on May 28. Steve and Connie took over the store in 1983 from Steve's parents Gardy and Hilde Richter. (Carter Jones/ FOCUS)

Gardy and Hilde Richter opened Richter's Men's Wear in 1969. (E-B file)

Gardy and Hilde Richter opened Richter's Men's Wear in 1969. (E-B file)

Hilde and Gardy Richter stand by Steve in 1994 for the store's 25th anniversary. Richter's Men's Wear is now celebrating 50 years. (Chuck Johnson)

Hilde and Gardy Richter stand by Steve in 1994 for the store's 25th anniversary. Richter's Men's Wear is now celebrating 50 years. (Chuck Johnson)

For decades Connie and Steve Richter have been thanking their loyal customers, but recently their customers have started to thank them.

"We don't know them personally, but they were just so happy, they thanked us," Connie said. "It's unbelievable how they do really miss service."

This month, Richter's Men's Wear celebrates 50 years of business in an evolving retail landscape that continues to push out independents in favor of big box and online retailers.

While the retail market continues to shrink, with Herberger's and Shopko closing in the last year, Richter's enjoyed its best year ever.

"We really feel we're doing something right," Steve said. "We're outlasting everybody."

"You know people have come into business after us and probably took it away from us for a while, but now we're still here and getting it all back," Connie said.

Richter's debuted in June 1969, when Steve's parents, Gardy and Hilde, converted their cafe into a clothing store. After a fire at the neighboring Coast to Coast hardware store, Gary and Hilde retired early and passed the store down to Steve and Connie.

Connie ran the store for two years, while Steve worked full time at EOT Telephone before he transitioned into the store full time. 

For full article, go to: Perham Focus

Source, image(s), credits & more: Perham Focus | Carter Jones