OLDTOWN — Store manager Tom Watson said Aug. 8 that Ben Franklin Variety Store’s liquidation sale is “going pretty quick.” The entire store is now 30-70 percent off and sales won’t end until the building’s empty, he said.
“If there are people interested in shopping a decent selection of goods, shop us early,” he added.
Bill and Nancy Nation owned the local franchise but leased the building from Lee Meecham, who recently sold the property. The store’s owners lost the lease of the store, which expires in October, and were forced to liquidate its merchandise, fixtures, and office supplies. Watson said the building will be converted into a Burger King.
Ben Franklin Variety Store announced July 28 that it is going out of business. The store Facebook page shared the glum news with local supporters. “We want to thank each and everyone of you for supporting us over these 30+ years as a Ben Franklin and Sprouse-Reitz stores. We loved being a part of your lives!!” read the store’s July 28 post.
The store has provided quality and value which the public has recognized for decades, as evidenced among other ways by its 2016 Best Retail Store award from the Greater Newport Area Chamber of Commerce. Unique in this day and age of chain-owned stores, Ben Franklin was locally-owned and able to target its local audience with price points and merchandise in local demand.
Watson and 12 other employees currently work at Ben Franklin.