Arizona Town Losing Landmark Business As Border Shopping Habits Change



NOGALES, Ariz. — There was a slower time here in Nogales, Arizona, when border crossers were greeted with big banks, tall hotels with elaborate facades and department stores showing off their very best products with elaborate galleries intended for front-window shopping at night. Bracker’s is among the last of that legacy.

Debbie Bracker Senday described life from that time in this way:

“If somebody came and they had an event in one of the cities, (like) Hermosillo, every one of the employees knew not to sell a dress of the same color or the same brand if they knew they were going to that event.”

Her cousin, Bruce Bracker, recalled, “On the holidays, the cattlemen would come up to sell their cattle and there were certain times of the year when they would all come into the store and have a good time and, you know, buy what they needed for the next six months.”

It started out 93 years ago as a military surplus store opened by a New Yorker who met his wife in El Paso, Texas, moved to Nogales and survived the Depression.

The family has made the decision to close the store. The announcement reverberated across two countries.

Bracker’s will close Oct. 15.


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