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End of an Era: Dr. ZZZZ'Z Mattress Center Bids Farewell to Orchards Mall

February 01, 2024 2 min read

Dr. ZZZZ'Z store front inside the mall

In Benton Harbor, Michigan, a significant chapter in local retail is coming to a close as Dr. ZZZZ'Z Mattress Center, a long-standing fixture of the Orchards Mall, announces its final goodbye. Owned by Norbert Zimpfer, the store has been a beacon of mattresses in the community since its inception in 2004. However, following a challenging year marked by a mall-wide flood and dwindling foot traffic, Zimpfer has decided to retire, marking the end of nearly two decades of service in Berrien County.

Flooding inside the mattress store with water around the mattresses.

The decision comes after the mall suffered extensive water damage in the winter of 2022, leading to the closure of Dr. ZZZZ'Z for nearly a year. Despite the adversity, the store recently reopened to offer a final sale, allowing Zimpfer to sell off his remaining inventory before closing the doors for good. This move underscores the broader challenges faced by brick-and-mortar stores in the era of online shopping and shifting consumer preferences.

Dr. ZZZZ'Z Mattress Center has been more than just a store; it was a community hub where customers could find not only a wide selection of mattresses from top brands like Englander Bedding, Spring Air, and Corsicana Bedding but also a friendly face in Zimpfer. With a commitment to customer satisfaction, the store boasted the largest selection of mattresses in West Michigan, offering same-day delivery and accommodating schedules to ensure the utmost convenience for its patrons.

The store's closure reflects the changing dynamics of the retail landscape, particularly in smaller communities. At its peak, Orchards Mall was a bustling center of activity, a vibrant food court, and major retailers like Sears and JC Penney. However, the decline began in 2009, following the closure of Sears, signaling a downward trend that has culminated in the mall's current state, described by Zimpfer as "lonely," especially after dark.

As Dr. ZZZZ'Z Mattress Center prepares to close, Zimpfer extends his gratitude to the many customers and friends he's made over the years, inviting them to take advantage of significant discounts, with some items marked down as much as 80%. It's a bittersweet farewell for Zimpfer, who looks forward to spending more time with family but is saddened by the end of an era for the store and the mall at large.

The Key Takeaway

The closure of Dr. ZZZZ'Z Mattress Center is a poignant reminder of the evolving retail environment and the importance of supporting local businesses. As Zimpfer closes this chapter, the community reflects on the memories made and the impact of a store that was more than just a place to buy a mattress—it was a part of the fabric of Benton Harbor.