A longtime mom-and-pop Bettendorf business is ready to make its final sales. Kile's Hallmark store in Duck Creek Plaza will be closing its doors for good by March 31.
Kile's Hallmark was one of the original stores at Duck Creek Plaza. But after 54 years, it will be going out of business in coming weeks.
The store is discounting all purchases by at least 20%. It will remain open during normal business hours until then at 886 Middle Road in Bettendorf. (563) 359-4337.
They've celebrated more than a half-century of Valentine seasons there.
"I love this store," said longtime employee Sue Larson.
But this will be the last one for the landmark Bettendorf location. The family business will close for good by March 31.
"I almost cried," said customer Melody Patterson. "I was sad."
That reaction means a lot to owner Denny Reichenbacher. His secret to success finds its roots in the Golden Rule.
"Treating people like you think you would like to be treated," he said.
It's a philosophy that helped him guide the store for 20 years . While business is okay, times are different.
"It's demographics, and people's tastes are changing," he said.
That's hard on longtime shoppers just finding out Monday about the upcoming closing.
"It's hard to see family stores go out of business because they're what makes our community fun, alive and real," said shopper Cindy Meierbachtol.
"This is where I always shopped before I came here," said Larson.
The retired teacher liked the store so much that she came to work in 1994 and never left.
"It's just like family," she said. "Everybody knows everybody, and it's going to be hard to tell them goodbye."
Over the decades, Kile's Hallmark was more than a place to shop. It was like stopping by to spend time with friends and family.
That's a lot of love over 54 Valentine's days. Customers know this is something special.
"They know your name," Patterson said. "They know your likes. They try to stick to what you like."
Denny is turning in 12-hour days to enjoy retirement. But it isn't easy to let go.
"It's tough," he said. "It is. It's hard."
Also, hard to shop and celebrate for the last time at Kile's Hallmark.
"I'm sad to see it go," Patterson concluded.