“We weren’t up for sale but a realtor came by and wanted to know if we’d be interested,” said Harry Luthi, who previously owned the store and passed it on to his son, Stan. The Luthis are currently in negotiation with a local financial institution that wants to use the well-placed downtown property to expand.
Luthi’s is known for hunting equipment, firearms, apparel and fly-fishing supplies. Customers come from throughout South Carolina and other states in the Southeast.
Stan Luthi said the business might consider reopening in another location, but only if they can find the right one. That will be difficult to find when hunting customers tend to come from one end of town but fishing customers tend to come from another, he said. Plans were still up in the air, he said.
Rob Mikol had come to Luthi’s looking for fly-fishing supplies earlier this year and said he liked the place so much he asked about working part-time in the fly-fishing shop, which he does now. He said he hoped to see another downtown location because he noticed that many of the customers were professionals who worked downtown.
In the meantime, they hope holiday shoppers will clear out much of the existing inventory. Last week customers came in expressing their condolences and hopes that the store would re-open in the future. “I’ll follow you anywhere,” one man told Harry on his way out.
The Luthis said they were sad about the store closing. Olin Luthi started the third-generation family company, and its current location is its third downtown. Harry, a former mayor of Greenville, said the customer response has been a surprise. “I didn’t know it was that strong. It just makes you feel so good to know people think that much of you.”
Luthi’s has traditionally gotten a good crowd of customers on Christmas Eve.