After 72 years of operation in Wilmington, Rogers Appliances has officially closed.
Alvin Rogers, formerly the owner of Rogers Appliances, said he plans on selling the antique appliances that are in the store and then renting out the building at 4715 Oleander Drive.
Rogers still owns the building, and will now devote his time to this and other rental properties.
He was tired of fixing appliances after working at the shop since his teens, he said.
His father, Joseph Rogers, started the business in 1947, working door-to-door offering his appliance repairing services. Joseph Rogers opened the Oleander location in 1952.
Rogers Appliance offered appliance repair services and sold used and new appliance parts, as well as appliances.
Alvin Rogers was born and raised in the service shop. Although he ended up enjoying the work, Alvin Rogers said he didn’t initially have an option on whether to run the business.
“I never decided to take over it, I backed into it,” Alvin Rogers said. “I told my dad I would work on it as long as he wanted. When he got Alzheimer’s, I had to take it over.”
Besides running the business, Alvin Rogers also spends time renting out properties to supplement his income.
“I decided at 16 I wanted to do real estate and I made more in rental properties than I have in the shop,” he said. “I just kept it until my family died and then our technician retired.”
Having lived in Wilmington his whole life, Alvin Rogers has noticed the changes Wilmington has gone through.
“It just grows,” he said. “When I was a little fellow it (Oleander Road) was a two-lane concrete bed, it was still called the Wrightsville Beach road, but it had been Strawberry Street.”
Alvin Rogers said the business did not make enough profits to make a living. Part of the reason why is because appliances are now more difficult or fragile to repair and people prefer to throw out and get new appliances instead of repairing them, he said.
“A lot of people don’t repair stuff and it’s become that [appliances] don’t last as long as they did,” Alvin Rogers said. “Here at the shop I got a 1929 model GE refrigerator, it still works.”
Alvin Rogers said he gets calls from people inquiring about the shop and he recommends them to other places they can go to. He plans on continuing his ownership of the Oleander location.
“Just rent out the building,” he said. “I am a landlord, that has been a principal occupation all my life, the shop was my hobby.”