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Palmerton general store to close after 37 years

By Catherine Hawley, Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Sep 25 2013 05:06:15 PM CDT
Updated On: Sep 25 2013 06:46:24 PM CDT

Inside Spillane's Variety Store in Palmerton, workers are busy.

PALMERTON, Pa. -

Inside Spillane's Variety Store in Palmerton, workers are busy. The crowds pulling out their cash and credit cards are bigger than the usual Christmas rush.

"You can always get everything and anything here," explained shopper Susan Zern. "Things that you couldn't get anywhere else you could always find at Spillane's."

But this sale is only happening once. Spillane's is closing its doors for good after 37 years.

"I've been working 54 years, so it's time to go," shared owner Bill Spillane.

Bill put the store up for sale, but hasn't found a buyer. He just knows it's time for him to retire.

"I'm actually really sad that it's closing," said Ann Behler. "I love this store, you can always find little things that you need."

"I'm just devastated that it's closing," added Cassie Snyder.

"To me it's going to be a big part of Palmerton missing," Zern described.

It's really the end of an era that started nearly 30 years before this store even opened. Bill's dad opened the first Spillane store in 1949 in Allentown. The chain grew to five locations when they bought the building in Palmerton in 1976.

"Had three stores in Allentown and one in Emmaus," Bill said.

Over the years the other stores closed, until it was just Spillane's Variety Store on Delaware Avenue.

"Bill is constantly looking for new departments, new merchandise," shared employee Sharon Mikulski. "Which you have to do to keep your customers happy."

Spillane's will stay open until they sell what's left in the store. Bill says he's going to miss his employees and customers most.

"It will be hard, let's put it that way," lamented Bill. "I don't think it's very easy to walk out of here and think you're not going to come back the next week."