LAKE NORMAN, N.C. -- The historic Terrell Country store in the Lake Norman area is closing at the end of the year.
Owner Joe Rose says he can't afford to keep it open in a bad economy with customers who don't spend like they used to out of concern they could lose their jobs in 2013.
The store at the intersection of Highway 150 and Sherrills Ford Road in Catawba County was built in 1891 and has pretty much always been a country store or antique store over the years, Rose said. He has owned the store for about three years.
Inside you can find a little bit of everything, from meat to candy, toys to trinkets, nostalgia to nautical.
Carroll Lineberger came to the store as a kid and remains a regular customer.
"We'd get a Coke, crackers and cheese. We had a ball. This was like home to us," he said.
The store caters to locals, plus Lake Norman boaters and summer home renters.
When times were good, folks would come in and hang out a while. Rose says the average register ring up when he first owned it was about $50 to $60 per customer. Since then, he says the average has slipped to under $5 per customer.
"In November it dropped to the point where we couldn't pay the rent and light bill," he said. "A lot of our regular customers who are with major corporations tell us they really don't know if they will have a job tomorrow."
Overall, Rose says people aren't spending money.
His going out of business sale appears to be the exception. Even pictures on the wall and the snowman out front are fair game.
"It's sad this kind of thing isn't able to make it any more," Rose said.
"We're going to miss it," said Lineberger.
It's a piece of local history shutting down, and Rose wishes the story ended there.
He says the reality is his store will join a list of about nine other businesses in the same area that have gone under in the last six months.
Rose plans to take a few weeks off after the store closed and figure out what's next.
An antique store is scheduled to open in its place in February.