Maine-based shoe seller J.L. Coombs going out of business after 184 years

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PORTLAND — Shoe store J.L. Coombs plans to close its Portland and Freeport stores, 184 years after the company was founded in Bangor.

The company announced the closure in an advertisement for a going-out-of-business sale on its website Wednesday in a statement, quoting only the store’s long-deceased founder.

“J.L.Coombs might have said it best, ‘Well, Emma, ‘tis about time we close up shop!’” the announcement reads. “Asked why, J.L. responded, ‘It’s just too damn hard with all this new-fangled competition everywhere. And, I’m startin’ to feel a bit tired of working 7 days a week. After all, I’m 184 years old!’”

The company announced the closure of its Portsmouth, New Hampshire, store in early November, according to the Portsmouth Herald. In that closure, notices on the store’s windows said the decision was “due to circumstances beyond our control.”

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The latest announcement said the locations in Freeport and Portland would be closed Wednesday and Thursday in preparation for a liquidation sale Friday.

A company representative was not immediately available for comment Thursday morning.

The company boasted being the oldest shoe seller in the United States. It was founded in Bangor and was one of the city’s moccasin manufacturers in the early 1900s. It does not have offices or a retail store in the city, according to its website.

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