Puckett's Closing Soon
Puckett's clothing store is nearing the end of an era. This is the final holiday season for the store in downtown Columbia.
Vicki Puckett took over the business when her husband, Dale, died earlier this year. He was an influential member of the community who co-founded Boone County's Crimestoppers Hotline.
Now, Vicki wants to retire, and long-time customers say they understand her decision.
"Dale and Vicki were a team to run this business, both sides of the business," said customer Wally Bley. "And, for Vicki to undertake it, continue it on her own, unless it's just really fun for her, is probably not realistic."
And, Puckett appreciates their support. "Many of the customers are my friends. And so they're coming in and wishing me well and saying they're sad to see the store go but hoping that I'll have a happy life after the stores are closed. So, it's been pretty moving and rewarding."
When the store opened in 1946, it looked more like a couple of lanes at a bowling alley, with only a men's side.
Puckett's decision to close the store was not her first choice.
"I'd been exploring some options with some individuals who were interresting in buying the business and those things did not materialize," she explained.
Other local business owners are surprised by the closing.
"I was sad to see them go," said Michelle Dillard, owner of Tiger Spirit. "I'm very curious as to see what will happen with that location now that they're leaving."
Dillard and other downtown business owners could find out early next year what will happen with the building space.