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Brunswick business closing after 68 years

SUPPLY, NC (WWAY) — A Brunswick County business is closing its doors after nearly 70 years. Because of the economy and national retailers, J.M. Parker and Sons is going out of business.

The store first opened its doors on the corner of Hwy 211 and Hwy 17 in Supply back in 1944.

“I missed all the cartoons on TV. My dad brought me in here early in the morning. I worked on every Saturday,” owner Al Parker recalls. “I’ve done it all; sweep the floors, cleaned the johns out.”

Al Parker’s grandfather opened the store, and it’s been passed down through generations. Now, 68 years later, he’s closing the doors.

“People have a misconception of owning your own business,” Parker said. “It’s not all roses.”

J. M. Parker and Sons started as a general store, selling feed and seed and everything else, but the store evolved into more of a building supply company. Now they primarily sell lumber. The store’s business really boomed in the mid-50’s after Hurricane Hazel hit and devastated the area. Many customers have been buying there for decades.

“It’s just like they are part of the family and all that,” customer Don Clemmons said. “Everything is easy to get to. They are easy to work with and just good people.”

“Well, it’s convenient,” customer James Bryant said. “I live right up the street here, and the people.”

“They take care of all of our needs,” said customer Tom Johnson.

“It’s working with the people that makes it good,” Parker said. “We’ve been fortunate to have some really good customers, and I really hate to lose them.”

The store will close for good some time in October. The Parkers are selling the land to a developer who plans to build an Ace Hardware and a grocery store in its place. The Parkers will still manage the new hardware store, so they are sticking around.

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