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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- A business that has been dressing up Louisville for more than four decades is closing for good. The last family-owned Colonel Quick store in Louisville is going out of business.
As owner Jay Gnadinger puts it, "Right now I am in disbelief -- a lot of anger, you know." Gnadinger's emotions are running strong these days after he and his family reached the difficult decision of closing this Colonel Quick Store which has been at a Bardstown Road location for 45 years.
"The fancy parties, even the ones for charities are not necessarily all that important anymore," Gnadinger says.
Once a upon a time customers dressed up for parties, proms, and weddings. But Gnadinger says all of that changed after the 9/11 terrorist attacks: "The 80's, everybody had money, everybody wanted to party like it was 1999 up until 2001. Then the bottom dropped out and then the economy tanked several years later."
As Mary Lee, a 26-year employee says, "Everybody now just wears bluejeans, the men wear dress shirts and the women blouses. Everywhere you look, nothing but bluejeans.
Longtime employees understand the reasons for closing, but naturally will miss their jobs. Charles Mason, a six-year employee, explains, "It's a little sadness, you know, because you engage really with the customer on a real close level."
Longtime customer Terry Gay said, "I saw the sign on the door when I came to pick up the uniforms. I thought, 'Oh no, that is very sad.' They have been here for years and years and years and been a very dependable company."
Gnadinger says competition from the bigger chain stores that can spend a lot of money on advertising is also contributing to the closing of his store: "If all of the independents combined all of their advertising dollars, that would not put a drop in what Men's Wearhouse has in their advertising budget."
At one time there were three locally-owned Colonel Quick stores in Louisville. After next week, they'll all be gone. Next Wednesday will be the last day of business.
Gnadinger says all merchandise is being sold at deep discounts.