Laacke & Joys announced today it will close its stores in downtown Milwaukee and Mequon and will consolidate its operations at its store in Brookfield at 19233 W. Bluemound Road.
The company will move its manufacturing division from the downtown location at 1433 N. Water St. in the summer of 2013 to the Brookfield facility that will provide additional space and flexibility for future expansion.
In addition, the company will close its retail store in Mequon in March of 2013 and its downtown Milwaukee store in January 2014.
The Brookfield store will become Laacke & Joys’ flagship store, which will undergo significant upgrades over the next two years, according to company president Marsha Mather.
Upgrades at the Brookfield store will include new lighting, flooring, visual merchandising, outdoor patio display areas and landscaping, as well as an extension of storage and operating venues. The changes will assist in branding the new direction of the company and set the prototype for any future brick and mortar expansions, Mather said.
The changes include investments in the company’s e-commerce platform ljoutdoors.com to match the growing demands of online shoppers.
Laacke & Joys recently acquired the assets of Concept Seating Inc., which has marketed and developed a unique niche in the three-shift, 24-hour chair business.
Mather said Laacke & Joys expects to more than double the size of its existing manufacturing business and the newly acquired Concept Seating division over the next five years while creating new jobs.
“My husband and I have owned Laacke & Joys for 17 years and continue to alter the business to meet the demands of our customers” Mather said. “We are devoted to staying ahead of trends and want to make changes that will continue the 168-year history of this great company.”
Laacke & Joys’ equestrian sports store, Hall Saddlery, will continue to operate a retail store in Sussex.
The Water Street 75,000-square-foot building that houses the downtown store along the Milwaukee River was sold in July to Riverwater Partners LLC, a group representing Adam and Laura Peck.
However, Mather told BizTimes today that her company’s decision to move was not related to the building ownership change.
“Absolutely not. Adam and Laura Peck bought the building, but we knew for the last several years that we were going to move our manufacturing out. We are just busting at the seams. That was part of our plan. We really are excited,” Mather said.
Laacke & Joys’ equestrian sports store, Hall Saddlery, will continue to operate as an effective and successful retail store in Sussex, WI and online at hallsaddlery.com.Laacke & Joys was founded in 1844 as a commercial lake shipping retailer before Wisconsin even became a state.