APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – Local downtown Appleton camera store Murray Photo and Video Inc. announced closing after 30 years of serving the community.
“This is a sad time for us,” read the Facebook post. “Thank you for the 30 years making this place a little better.”
The business, located at 10 E. College Ave., is being forced to close due to the redevelopment of the City Center Plaza. Several surrounding businesses have relocated or closed, including Squire Hairstylists and Aunty’s Cafe.
The store owner told Local 5’s Samantha Petters that he considered relocating to the other side of the complex. However, he ultimately decided it was best to sell the store and retire after the closure. Murray was told by the complex’s owner and developers that he needed to be out by the end of November, so most of the store’s items were discounted to 30% off.
“We tried to find a place to relocate in another location, but the way things are right now rent is so high, and we just couldn’t afford to do it,” said Murray. “And we tried to sell the place for a few years, but it’s difficult to find someone with the ambition to keep something like this place going.”
Murray Photo and Video, Inc. offered the Appleton community a unique experience as camera stores are hard to come by in today’s climate. From converting tapes to DVDs to processing film, the store offered many services.
“There are services we do that nobody else does in the valley,” said Murray.
Murray also explained that his store was a unique part of the community because of his friendships with his customers and how they would come and hang out in the store during lunch.
“The customers that come in here are our friends,” said Murray. “They come in just to say hi, bring their lunch, hang out, and we might hang out later so that part’s going to be missed.”
Local businesses remain a vital aspect of every community, and Patrick Murray felt that he had to contribute to that. Over the years, Murray helped out in any way he could with local organizations in the area, helping with support and donations.
“We’re the places that donate to the Girl Scouts and all these little organizations,” said Murray. “And we have a wall with all kinds of thank you letters. We’re just trying to have a nice niche in the community and help people.”