A long time institution in Tamaqua has decided to close their retail doors after serving its customers and the community for over 37 years.

Weicker's Home Improvement auctioned off their entire inventory recently while owners and employees spent time taking care of customers and other related tasks. The walls grew barer as people could be seen snatching up the large variety of paint-related items being sold during the auction.

"It is hard to compete with retail box stores," said brothers and owners Edward "Ed" and Reginald "Reggie" Weicker.

The Weickers stressed, "Even though we don't have a retail location anymore, we are still offering painting and wallpapering services."

The property was also up for sale during the auction, although no one bid past the undisclosed reserve price. As of today, the brothers stated the building is still for sale or rent.

Weicker's, which was first located at 129 East Broad St. from 1976 to 1980, later moved to its current location at 19 W. Spruce St., near Cherry Street, due to the thriving amount of business they received.

The brothers pointed out the increase in box stores, starting in the mid-90's resulted in lesser and lesser retail business.

Keeping the store going all these years were Ed's wife, Karen, who managed the store for 15 years, and his daughters Dr. Kristine Weicker and Sheila Ann Weicker, Reggie's wife Carol and his kids, Amy and Eric.

Since they opened, the Weickers have actively been involved with or donated to many community organizations or events, such as the East End Fire Company, Tamaqua Chamber of Commerce, St. Jerome's Festival, St. Jerome's School, United Way, American Cancer Society and many others. Reggie was also member of Tamaqua Planning Commission and Tamaqua Zoning Hearing Board, while Ed served on Tamaqua Planning Commission.

The brothers stated their unforgettable appreciation for their retail customers, the community, family and friends for all the years of dedicated service and support.

Customers pointed out how much they'll miss the retail store. Dorothy Boros, Tamaqua, said "The Weicker are always so nice to deal with. They ran a great retail store. Boros recalled the many times Karen, Ed and Reggie went the extra mile to help her with numerous tasks. "I bought many things here. The three murals I bought here still look great."

"Everyone is so friendly. They always take the extra time to help. It is sad to see a well-adorned Tamaqua landmark closing," said Tammy Sword, a longtime customer. "Even though their retail location is closed, my family will continue to use their contracting services."

The Weickers can be reached at (570) 668-5450 for contracting services, to include estimates for wallpaper and painting services.