Everything Must Go

My parents-in-law ran a smalltown department store for close to 40 years before having to close down last year. These photos document the Kragseth family’s final days as merchants in Nordfjordeid, Norway.

Kala #1. This sale is final

Kala #1. This sale is final

The combined toys and glass- and kitchenware store known as “Kala” would have celebrated its 40th anniversary on the fifth of November last year. Only they had to close down just half a year shy of that landmark occasion. A combination of age, health and economic issues meant that the days leading up to Easter last year were chosen to be the final ones for the store that had been built by my girlfriend’s parents – Mrs. Aud and Mr. Agnar Kragseth – four decades earlier.

Kala #2. The department store. Brand new

Kala #2. The department store. Brand new

Kala #3. Mrs. Aud (left) and Mr. Agnar Kragseth had some of their busiest days ever during the days of the final sale. My girlfriend Linda (centre) moved home for a few weeks to help them out

Kala #3. Mrs. Aud (left) and Mr. Agnar Kragseth had some of their busiest days ever during the days of the final sale. My girlfriend Linda (centre) moved home for a few weeks to help them out

Kala #4. Aud and Agnar met at a gathering for western expats in the Norwegian capital of Oslo in the late 1960s

Kala #4. Aud and Agnar met at a gathering for western expats in the Norwegian capital of Oslo in the early 1970s

Kala #5. Best store in the district, 1989

Kala #5. Best store in the district, 1989

Kala #6. The toy store cleaned out. Only a basket of christmas hats remain

Kala #6. The toy store cleaned out. Only a basket of christmas hats remain

Kala #7. Agnar in the office

Kala #7. Agnar in the office

Kala #8. Cheap toys, pure happiness

Kala #8. Cheap toys, pure happiness

Kala #9. Nordfjordeid is a small town (population 2,772) in western Norway

Kala #9. Nordfjordeid is a small town (population 2,772) in western Norway

Kala #10. The shop – and it's merchants – in their youth. Aud at left

Kala #10. The shop – and its merchants – in their youth. Aud at left, her sister-in-law, Liv, at right

Kala #11. Some 30 years on, the brilliant 70s blouse is replaced by a Transformers hoodie

Kala #11. Some 30 years on, Aud’s brilliant 70s blouse is replaced by a Transformers hoodie

Kala #12. Young Agnar in the store

Kala #12. Young Agnar in the store

Kala #13. Agnar in the store

Kala #13. Agnar in the store

Kala #14. The building period. Health and safety. Total lack thereof

Kala #14. The building period. Health and safety. Total lack thereof

Kala #15. The store, yesteryear

Kala #15. The store, yesteryear

Kala #16. Linda sorting through the farewell flower gifts

Kala #16. Linda sorting through the farewell flower gifts

Kala #17. Empty glassware boxes

Kala #17. Empty glassware boxes

Kala #18. Agnar closing the doors

Kala #18. Agnar closing the doors

Kala #19. Counting crowns

Kala #19. Counting crowns

Kala #20. Stairway to retirement

Kala #20. Stairway to retirement

Kala #21. One last set of locks

Kala #21. One last set of locks

Kala #22. The toast

Kala #22. The toast

Epilogue – The Bears Say Goodbye

The toy store teddybear mascots make one final appearance for a farewell ad in the local paper.

Kala #23

Kala #23

Kala #24

Kala #24

Kala #25

Kala #25

Kala #26. Ad reads "Kala is now closed"

Kala #26. Ad reads “Kala is now closed”

 

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