SPOKANE, Wash - After 74 years of selling sporting goods and toys, the owners of the White Elephant are closing both their locations at 1730 North Division and 12614 East Sprague. Liquidation sales begin Tuesday, June 9th, 2020.
According to a news release, the owners said, "The time has come for us to step out from behind the counter and enjoy the passions of family and recreation that this business was founded upon. It has been a tremendous run. The White Elephant has served our family well and provided us with a good and beautiful life. We are forever indebted to our loyal customers, current and past employees, our cherished friends, and the entire Spokane community who have supported us with remarkable dedication for the past 74 years.”
The White Elephant locations on North Division and East Sprague will be closed Monday, June 8th, to prepare for liquidation. The liquidation sale will begin Tuesday, June 9th, at 9am. Limited occupancy and social distancing policies will be in effect to protect the health and welfare of our customers and employees.
In 1946, after returning from his service in WWII, John R. Conley founded The White Elephant selling war surplus. John began to build the store’s inventory based on his passions of fishing, outdoor recreation and finding the best deal.
After John’s marriage to Mary E. Condon in 1949 and the birth of the first of their eleven children in 1950, the White Elephant began selling toys. Throughout the years, family and friends helped run the store.
John Conley passed away in 2017 and the business is currently owned by sons Richard Conley and Patrick Conley, and wife Mary Conley Sr..
In a news release, the owners said, “The decision to close our stores was particularly difficult considering the impact on our current employees and the next generation of our family. We have been exploring options to restructure for some time. However, with the increasingly complicated retail environment, closing is the best option. As our nation and economy enter a phased recovery, we look forward with hope to new and unexpected opportunities for our employees and family.”
Editors Note: You can see an interview with the owners of the White Elephant on "The 6:30" on KHQ Monday, June 8th.