It's the end of an era. Mr. Knickerbocker's in downtown Clemson is closing after 45 years of business. Store owners explained the building was sold to someone who raised the rent too high.
Clemson fans only have a few days left to hear that familiar jingle sound when they walk into Mr. Knickerbocker's on College Avenue. If you do visit, you'll notice part of the store is closed off because workers are trying to sort items that will be moved to their other locations in Clemson and Greenville, but the same feeling of family is still there.
"We try to treat everybody like we would want to be treated. That's the way my parents taught us to run this business," said Michael Spearman, the Vice President of Mr. Knickerbocker's.
Spearman's sister and the Co-Owner of Mr. Knickerbocker's, Donna Riggins, said the news of closing has been tough on her family..
"We're all very said. It's hard for me to even talk about it without crying. I've cried for days," said Riggins.
Riggins and Spearman joined workers packing up boxes Thursday morning. Each box taking a little memory with it.
"It started as a men's clothing store. That's why it was called Mr. Knickerbocker's. My dad always wore knickers when he was a little boy. When my dad first opened the business, he went to the bank and asked for a loan and the people told him no. They wouldn't give him a loan because he could not make a business grow in Clemson," explained Riggins.
That dream turned into so much more.
"Every grandchild that my dad has, has painted tiger paws out front for tips on game days. Now, we're getting into great grandchildren so, it's been a blast," recalled Spearman.
Mr. Knickerbocker's is having a moving sale until May 12th, but Spearman and Riggins also want to use this as an opportunity to say thank you to the customers who have turned into family.
"We've made friends over the years. They're not just our customers, they're our friends and family and we love them and it's just been a Clemson tradition for so long."
While the pain of closing is still new, Spearman and Riggins are optimistic there's a future for Mr. Knickerbocker's somewhere else in Clemson. In the meantime, their other Clemson and Greenville locations are still open.
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