Roanoke, VA (WDBJ) – After half a century in business, a well-loved store in our hometown is closing. WDBJ7 sat down with the owner for an exclusive interview and explained why she decided to close.
J & J Fashions opened 55 years ago; a family business that has been passed down through three generations.
“My mother, Jewell Hunt, opened our first store in Rocky Mount, Virginia in 1968,” says owner Sheila Copenhaver.
With business booming in 2014, Copenhaver opened a second location in Star City. Within a few years, the Rocky Mountain branch closed.
The Roanoke store has been struggling since the pandemic hit.
“The store was full of merchandise and new items were coming in. So, when we reopened, everything in my store was out of season and I had to discount it,” Copenhaver explained. “So, therefore no money was made.”
Supply chain issues have delayed or canceled many shipments and orders.
“So, it’s going to be three weeks, four weeks. Well, you don’t want to come in that late. So, people are going to order it. Then we’re going to have to cancel it, it’s going to be late and then we have to sell it,” Copenhaver added. “
Stores have been unable to make up for lost profits. With her mother’s health failing, she decided it was time to close the shop.
“I’m an only child, and I want to take care of her as best I can. And I can’t run a clothing store and serve her there,” Copenhaver said. “So, I made the decision I needed to make this season of my life.”
Empty hangers hold all the laughs, stories and shared moments. When they’re ready to say goodbye, there are big sale signs everywhere.
“It’s sad and bittersweet, but our customers are very kind,” Copenhaver said. “They come in to wish us the best.”
The store, which employs six employees, will officially close in February.
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