After 71 years in business, Badowers, the men’s haberdashery first started by a Holocaust survivor, is closing its doors. 

The coronavirus pandemic has had lasting effects on retail stores nationwide, and the longtime clothier is no different, said Tim Sitzmann, CEO of Midwest Clothiers, which owns Badowers. Once Badowers’ inventory is sold off, Midwest Clothiers will focus its attention on its other Des Moines metro stores for men, Mr. B Clothing and The Backroom. 

Badowers specializes in quality men’s clothing and offers suits, ties, denim, outwear and accessories. Fewer people were shopping in-person during the pandemic and, without an online store or the tailoring services offered at Mr. B, business suffered, Sitzmann said. 

“We’re all sad,” he said. “But it’s a reality of the pandemic.”

Badowers has operated at its current location, 2817 Ingersoll Ave., since 1961. The shop was started more than a decade earlier by Polish immigrant Fred Badower, first in his west-side Des Moines home and later in the Shops at Roosevelt. 

It moved to Ingersoll Avenue after a fire destroyed the shop for the second time. 

After the first fire, in 1953, then 43-year-old Badower vowed to bring back his store better than ever, harking back to his four years at the Dachau Concentration Camp.