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King’s Variety to close all of its stores, including 13 in Idaho

Photo courtesy of Colby Otte

A recently renovated King’s Variety Store in Hailey. Photo courtesy of Colby Otte.

King’s Variety, which has 13 stores in Idaho and dozens more in surrounding states, is closing all of its stores.

The Burley-based company released a statement Feb. 20 saying that changes to the retail climate had made business too difficult.

“With the advent of both large-box retail stores and the internet, anyone with a computer can buy from millions of vendors around the world. Brick and mortar stores need feet and faces to survive as we have salaries, rents and other costs to cover. Unfortunately for us that is not the current landscape,” the statement said.

The stores were founded in Burley in 1915.

According to the King’s website, there are Idaho King’s stores in Rupert, Salmon, Rigby, Driggs, Montpelier, Shelley, Burley, Gooding, Buhl, Grangeville, Hailey, Preston, and Orofino. The company also has stores in Oregon and Utah.

The stores sell toys, crafts, sporting goods, lawn and garden supplies, clothing, housewares, and other items. They were started by a harness maker who lost his job with the completion of the transcontinental railroad, said the statement, signed by “the staff and family of the M. H. King Company.”

“We have survived two world wars, the Great Depression, the Great Recession and many other ups and downs over the past 102 years. This has not been simple or easy,” the letter said. “Every generation brings with it advances and losses due to a changing business environment.”

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