Store Closing? No Problem in Cambridge

[imgbelt img=GeneralStore.jpg]When a regional chain retailer decided to close its store in Cambridge, Nebraska, the town had an answer. Cambridge would open its own.

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A message from the Rural Assembly

When the deadline for investment arrived, there was no announcement of the final amount invested, only that the goal had been achieved. Over 100 people had invested in the store.

“It was nice to see that money continued to come in,” Heitmann said, noting that there was no trouble reaching the goal of $250,000. “It just tells us that we’re doing the right thing and that people want the store back.”

The Next Step

While raising a quarter-of-a-million dollars may have seemed like the toughest step, the most frustrating challenges came next.

By February, vendors were lined up for buying inventory and work had begun to clean and redecorate the building. But time kept ticking away and, still, no opening date was announced.

The process took long enough that some community members worried about keeping the beloved and experienced Scott Orcutt as manager.

Orcutt, who had guided the previous store to profitability and was popular with the regular patrons, had been without a job since Duckwalls officially closed in January.

“Should we also take a collection help to keep Scott around?” Arla Mae Pearson, a regular at the store, asked at one of the public meetings.

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A message from the Rural Assembly

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