LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) —Bennett's Military Supply, a Main Street staple, has been open for almost 150 years.
It's no secret that Main Streets have suffered across the country as lives became more convenient with internet shopping. Through it all, Bennett's has survived.
But now, its owner said, it is time to say goodbye.
"It's a decision that obviously has been very difficult for me,” Sheree Meyer, the store’s owner said, as she wiped a tear from her eye.
Bennett's is a family affair. It has been in Meyer's family for four generations.
"I was 10 years old and started working at this store. I sold magic tricks,” she said of some of her earliest memories of the store.
Which made the decision to close that much harder.
"It's time. It's just time,” she assured me.
For months, Bennett's home, the 600 block of Main, has been under construction. The City of Little Rock has been working to add new storm sewers and other enhancements.
The project has been delayed multiple times, meaning access to stores along that block has been limited.
"Bennett's is a destination. It's not really something you would walk along the street and go 'oh, I'm going to stop in here.,” Meyer said. Still, she doesn't blame the construction. "It's easy to, at 12 at night, get on the internet. Everyone does, and click through the list of what you want to purchase, so that's just what we are competing against and it's time."
Meyer says she believes in Main Street and efforts to revitalize the area.
“I think the progress downtown is wonderful. My dad was a huge proponent to downtown. He was on every board and supported everything he could to develop the City. So I think he would be very proud of what's happening now and understand what is happening with Bennett's,” she said, but that certainly doesn't make things easier. "I knew this was going to be a tough decision. I knew it was going to be a tough thing to do."
The entire store will be discounted until it closes. They anticipate that will be the end of March. But Meyer has a tiny glimpse of hope that someone will buy the business and keep the memory alive.