Stiller’s final closeout

Our story so far: In February 1970, the Stiller’s Top Ten singles chart suddenly disappeared from the Green Bay Press-Gazette after running in the paper every Friday for almost five years.

The Stiller Co. had sold records in downtown Green Bay for years. It was the place to go digging for 45s and LPs, a place where performers made in-store appearances, a place from which local radio stations did shows and remotes.

But the Stiller family, which had run the store since the turn of the century, was retiring. New owners were taking over. New owners with new ideas.

May 21, 1970 — a week shy of five years since the first appearance of the Stiller’s Top Ten chart — saw this offer from “Green Bay’s moving and grooving house of music!”

Stiller Co. record ad, May 21, 1970

July 14, 1970 — The Stiller Co. was blowing out “really bad” 45s — a grab bag of 10 for a dime — at the summer sidewalk bazaar in downtown Green Bay.

Stiller Co. record ad, July 14, 1970

Sept. 8, 1970 — “Every record must be sold.” The closeout begins.

Stiller Co. record ad, Sept. 8, 1970

Oct. 11, 1970 — The final closeout, slashing prices on LPs to $2.

Stiller Music record ad, Oct. 11, 1970

A month later, as the store marked its 72nd anniversary, the records were gone.

“A new sound department has opened, replacing the former record department,” the Press-Gazette reported on Nov. 8, 1970. “The department will feature sound equipment and components for stereos, radios and tape recorders.”

Two years later to the day — Nov. 8, 1972 — the new owners of The Stiller Co. filed for bankruptcy.

They blamed their predicament on having lost business to suburban shopping centers, on having too many people on the payroll, on high overhead and on “creditors that were too easy on the firm.”

Before the year was out, in the days just before and after Christmas 1972, everything in the store was sold at a bankruptcy auction.

If you want it, here it is, come and get it
But you’d better hurry ’cause it’s goin’ fast

Which, fittingly, was the last song on the last Stiller’s Top Ten chart.

“Come And Get It,” Badfinger, from “Magic Christian Music,” 1970.

1 Comment

Filed under June 2020, Sounds

One response to “Stiller’s final closeout

  1. Charlie Ricci

    Cool story. How ironic for the last song. I always hated when a record store or department died. Fortunately all of the remaining record shops I am aware of around Philadelphia have survived the virus and are reopening.

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