Dawahares: The Beginning Of The End

By: Jeff Allen Email
By: Jeff Allen Email

People were pouring into Dawahares stores across the state, but it's not the kind of sales many are very happy to see. After the long-time family owned retail chain recently announced it's closing all remaining stores, going out of business sales began Friday.

For many who work at Dawahares, It all didn't seem real until Friday.

“It was hard walking in today, seeing all the signs put up because it made me realize this is really the end,” says Tina Catron-Mink, Corbin Store Manager.

The signs signal some great sales, and business is booming. But it won't help do anything to stop the inevitable.

“We just really hate to see this. It's awful, for all over Kentucky, Bell County. It's really sad,” says Joy Caldwell, a Middlesboro Dawahares customer.

“I'm losing all my customers. I'm losing all my friends, my coworkers. It's a sad day for us all,” says Jessica Parker, a Middlesboro Dawahares Manager.

Parker is one of four women who've worked at the Middlesboro Dawahares since the beginning.

“We walked into this store when there was just dirt and gravel on the floor. It's our store, our pride and joy, and we hate to see it go,” says Jeannette Grandey, a Middlesboro Dawahares Manager.

Employees are looking ahead.

“I, myself, am going back to school. Another manager is going back to school,” says Grandey.

…but also looking back…

“We've had a good run. It's a great company, and we're all just really, really sad,” says Catron-Mink.

“We wish 'em the best,” says Caldwell.

Employees say they expect stores to stay open through August as they sell the rest of their merchandise.

22 stores are closing across the state. Other locations include Hazard, Morehead, Paintsville, Pikeville, Somerset, south Williamson and Whitesburg. Dawahares officials blame a weak economy.

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