New chapter for the “mom and pop shop” | News, Sports, Jobs

New chapter for the “mom and pop shop” | News, Sports, Jobs
New chapter for the “mom and pop shop” | News, Sports, Jobs

Photo by Deb Gau Karol and Terry Haas said it was important to continue operating a downtown appliance store after Terry retires. Terry’s career at Bot Appliance spans 41 years.

MARSHALL — Terry Haas said getting to know people has been one of the best things about his 41 years in appliance sales and service. He’s even seen some of his customers’ children grow up and shop at Bot Appliance, Furniture & More again and again.

Now a new chapter begins for both Haas and the company.

“It will be good for Marshall to continue to have an electronics store on the corner,” said Haas.

This week, banners outside the store announced that Bot Appliance has been purchased by Karl’s TV, Appliance & Furniture. The South Dakota-based chain will open in September at the Bot Appliance location on the corner of Main and Fourth streets.

As Terry and his wife, Karol, prepare for the transition, they say they are grateful for the support Marshall and the surrounding communities have given them over the years.

“We would like to thank the people,” said Terry Haas.

“It’s exciting, but also bittersweet,” Karol Haas commented on the change. “My customers are my friends.”

The business sale means the 405 Loft boutique at the Bot Appliance location will also close. But Karol said she and her daughter plan to open a new boutique at a location in downtown Brookings.

Terry Haas said his work at Bot Appliance began as a part-time job in 1983.

“It basically started when I was at school and they needed a delivery boy,” said Haas. “The part-time job became a full-time job.”

Over the years, Haas expanded its activities from delivery to service and sales to the purchase of the company.

“It was fun,” Haas said of his time at Bot Appliance:

There have been a lot of changes in the industry over the years, including in technology. In the past, a 27-inch TV was considered really impressive, he says. Now everyone has a flat-screen TV.

When Haas considered retirement, he wanted to make sure the business could continue. When Karl inquired about purchasing Bot Appliance, it seemed like a good solution.

“They are a good company and have good people,” he said.

Karl’s began as a television company in South Dakota in 1956. Today, the company offers appliances, electronics, mattresses and furniture. According to the company’s website, Karl’s has locations in the Dakotas, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Wyoming. Currently, the closest Karl’s locations are in Brookings, Sioux Falls and Worthington.

Haas said he would stay with the business to support the transition to new ownership.

“I will be here until April 1st and run the store,” he said.

Karol Haas said 405 Loft will close over the summer as Karl’s prepares to move into Marshall’s space.

However, she and her daughter will also start a new business called Meracki Threads and Design. Karol said the name is Greek and means “Something from the heart.”

The new boutique will be located on Fourth Street in Brookings, she said.

Karol said there were some bittersweet feelings, and “Many hugs,” while the boutique customers say goodbye.

Terry and Karol said they were “blessed” in Marshall.

It is important to keep a downtown business running in the future, Terry said.

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