WADSWORTH, Ohio (WJW) — A 107-year-old store in Wadsworth is closing its doors.
Third-generation owner Paul Bicksler said it’s time to retire after 51 years from the time he began working at W.S. Bicksler Electric Inc. for his father and two uncles in 1970.
His grandfather started the business in 1914 as an electrical contractor, wiring most of the city buildings and schools in town, Paul Bicksler told FOX 8 in an interview.
When major appliances hit the market, he says his grandfather started selling things like refrigerators and washers at the store’s original location on 153 Main Street, a block down the street from where he is now.
As major appliances got more popular, the store expanded.
But during the housing crash about 10 years ago, he says he shut down the electrical company and continued to sell appliances.
“I’m 67. I figured it is time to retire,” he said. “The pandemic has made the decision a little bit easier because product has been tough to get. It was tough last year and this year it’s probably even a little bit worse because a lot of the factories aren’t back in the production stage yet.”
He said distribution companies are telling him they have an employee shortage so it might take another year and a half to get product back in the pipelines.
“There’s not a fourth generation and a didn’t want to leave the name on the business,” he said. “Maybe the next guy coming in would do a better job than I’ve done but I don’t want to hear about it four or five years down the road, ‘We bought appliances at Bicksler’s and they really did me wrong.’ It’s just time.”
“We’ve had a pretty good reputation and I just want to keep it that way,” he said.
He said being a staple and a main fixture in downtown Wadsworth for over a century has created a lot of friendships with people and that customers are sad to see it come to this but they do understand.
“I want to thank downtown Wadsworth for all their support over the years,” he said. “Our past and present customers have been very loyal and faithful. To be a part of the downtown community all these years has really special for us.”
He said the Bicksler’s name won’t be lost once the last purchases are made. Former Mayor Caesar Carrino wants to make it a downtown historical site and preserve the memory.