• Burgaw Now

Harrell's Department Store: Back from the Brink?

Many of you have likely seen the New York Times article, detailing the fall of the much beloved town staple: Harrell's Department Store. Harrell's has presided over Burgaw for 117 years, and the thought of Burgaw without it is, in some ways, totally inconceivable. The department store is truly a giant -- surviving through four generations, World War I and II, The Great Depression, and Hurricane Florence (among others).

Vernon & Michelle have been fighting to keep the dream of an "old school" department store alive, while also working to bring it into the modern era. They've battled big box stores and changing trends to stay afloat, all to continue serving the community they call home. If you've had the pleasure of stepping into Harrell's, you know you'll be greeted with a welcoming smile, and likely an offer of coffee... or maybe some other, extra special treat. If you haven't been there, you might still recognize it, due to it most famously being featured in the iconic 90's film I Know What You Did Last Summer.

A still from I Know What You Did Last Summer

The loss of such a legend is heart breaking, and we at Burgaw Now were deeply saddened to hear of it. Fortunately, Vernon & Michelle seem determined to "turn this defeat into victory", and are ready to go another round in the fight to keep this legacy alive. They are currently hard at work, re-imagining an updated Harrell's that will thrive in 2020 and beyond. We are excited to see what comes next, and heartened that there might yet be a happy ending to this story.

The family has set up a Go Fund Me to help with expenses, and are thus asking for donations. This will help them get through these difficult times, and to build what comes next. The donations will go to repairs/preservation, updates and fixtures, hiring, and the establishment of a scholarship fund. If you have it in you to give, please consider donating to help keep this shining light of Burgaw lit.

New York Times Article: Go Fund Me:

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