Learning Shop to shutter after 40 years

Retailer's five Wisconsin stores closing at year's end

The Learning Shop's Brookfield store. Photo by Google

Last updated on March 17th, 2020 at 01:33 pm

Appleton-based specialty toy retailer the Learning Shop will soon close its doors after 40 years.

The business’ five locations, in Appleton, Brookfield, Madison, Mequon and Greendale, will shutter at year’s end. It sells children’s toys and educational products for parents and teachers.

Second-generation owners and brothers Todd and Tom Merryfield announced the closure late Friday via social media, saying they had “agonized over this decision for the past several years.”

“We have taken many steps throughout all operational area to minimize costs, but even with all those cost savings measures we found that the annual and continual losses in sales were outpacing our efforts on the other side of the ledger,” according to the letter addressed to Learning Shop customers, fan and supporters.

Neither of the Merryfields were immediately available for additional comment.

Todd and Tom joined the business in 1987 and 1993, respectively, eventually taking over for their parents, Dan and Sharon Merryfield, who had purchased the Learning Shop in 1979 as struggling teacher supply store, according to its website.

During its final weeks of operations, The Learning Shop will offer various discounts and promotions. Shoppers were reminded to use gift cards and redeem loyalty points.

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Maredithe Meyer covers restaurants, retail, tourism, and sports and entertainment. She joined BizTimes in 2015, previously as an intern reporter. She earned a degree in journalism from Marquette University in 2017. When she's not on the job, Maredithe coaches field hockey and loves exploring her favorite city on earth, Milwaukee.

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