Neighboring downtown shops closing

Published 3:26 pm Monday, July 6, 2009

A pair of neighboring clothing stores in downtown Clanton will close by the end of July.

The Corner Fair and Almaroad’s are both going out of business.

Owners say the closings have little to do with the economy, but were instead personal decisions concerning the families who run the businesses.

Ken and Maryann Messer and their children have operated the Corner Fair at the intersection of Seventh Street and Second Avenue for 25 years.

The family decided to close the store after Maryann passed away in June.

Ken Messer and his children, Jud Messer and Ann Glasscock, and her daughter, Morgan, will now focus their efforts on the family’s other store, Messer’s Jewelry.

“We’ve had really good businesses,” Glasscock said. “We just feel like it’s best for our family to downsize.”

Glasscock said the family couldn’t effectively staff two stores anymore.

“It’s just the family that works here, and we are spread a little thin,” she said.

Just next door, Renhae Gore will retire and close her boutique, Almaroad’s, because of nagging health issues.

“I’ve been thinking about it over a year,” said Gore. “I’ve decided I’m hanging up my dresses.”

The boutique opened 13 years ago, and Gore said she hopes the shop brought some class to Clanton.

“Almaroad’s has been a beautiful girl,” said Gore. “This has been my passion. It has brought lots of class to town … I’ll miss it.”

Right now, it’s unclear what will happen to the downtown storefronts after the shops close.

Both families hope new businesses will move into the properties.

“I don’t want to see another building sit here empty,” Glasscock said.