Store closes its doors with a bang
YESTERDAY afternoon the sun set on the end of an era in the Grafton business community as iconic department store Mackellys closed its doors for good.
The tough decision to close was revealed in January by retiring director Andrew Kelly who said there was no new generation to take the reins of the multi-generational, 98-year-old business.
To ensure the business went out in a blaze of glory though, management held a sale yesterday which invited customers to fill a bag of the remaining stock for between $90 and $30 depending on when they arrived.
When the business opened at 9am yesterday, the price was set at $90 per bag – a cost which didn’t deter the dozens of people who flocked through the doors as soon as they opened.
Savvy shoppers (with good packing skills) were able to turn that $90 into considerable value – Grafton man David Dowd managed to squeeze $1764 worth of items into his bag.
“I grabbed a bit of everything really – but it’s mostly shirts,” Mr Dowd said as he walked out of the Prince Street shop grinning from ear to ear.
Some people were even leaving bags with friends outside and paying another fee to go back in – Mr Dowd, however, said he’d had enough.
“No way am I going back in there, I think this’ll do me for today,” he chuckled.
Although Mr Dowd’s effort held the lead for some time, the honours of best shopper of the day ultimately went to Lower River woman Collette Morrison, who managed to squeeze a whopping $2532 worth of items into her $90 bag.
As the dust began to settle yesterday afternoon, Mr Kelly said it had been a day of mixed feelings for the current staff and also the former employees who returned for the day to see the venture out to the very end.
However, he said it was generally agreed among them, the sale was an appropriate bang to go out on.
“It was a real finale wasn’t it,” Mr Kelly reflected with a smile.
“We would’ve had more than 250 people come through here throughout the day and we cleared out everything.”
Employees partied on at the Mackellys building.