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Luggage stores close in Brookfield, Whitefish Bay

March 2, 2009

Two area luggage stores are closing because of the downturn in the economy.

Kaehler World Traveler, at 415 E. Silver Spring Drive in Whitefish Bay, closed its doors Saturday, and Landmark Luggage at Brookfield Square will close in mid-March.

Both are part of small regional chains that are continuing in business.

Ben Kaehler said his family decided to close the Whitefish Bay location because the lease had expired and sales were slow. The Whitefish Bay store is the only Kaehler location in Wisconsin and the only store that the Wheeling, Ill.-based Kaehler chain is closing.

"Someday we would like to be back in the area in a different location," Kaehler said. "We're very sad to be going."

Landmark, based in Des Moines, Iowa, has filed for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of the U.S. bankruptcy code. The company operates one other store in Wisconsin, in Mequon.

The Mequon store will remain open, according to Bob Jurgensmeier, vice president at Landmark. The company has closed other stores elsewhere and hopes to be able to stay in business with four stores, Jurgensmeier said.

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