Hicks: A Family Business

By: Lauren Searcy Email
By: Lauren Searcy Email

Tucked off the beaten path is a clothing store and some might call it the little clothing store that could; could withstand recession after recession that is.

Hicks is a staple of downtown Thomasville and has been open longer than some of the city's residents have been alive.

"My dad started Hicks clothing company in 1936. He worked previously at another store in Thomasville and decided that he wanted to go out on his own and start his own business and so he did and I'm the third generation," said Kate Wilder, her family owns Hicks Clothing store.

Charlotte Kanning's father started the businesses with two partners in 1936 and then bought the other partners out in 1944. From her teenage years on, the clothing store has been her home away from home.

" I was 14 and my daddy wanted to go home for lunch and while he was gone that hour I did real well and he came back and said you're hired," said Charlotte Kanning.

During World War II business was tough. Stores were given everything in allotments and practically everything sold because there was so little. Even through that difficult time, Charlotte says there were perks.

"My first big sale was to a soldier who was station at the airbase here and he had his discharge papers, so he came to get outfitted in civilian clothes, and he did spend lots of money and he sure was cute," Charlotte remembered.

Hicks survived the war and is surviving the most current recession. It's the service with a smile that keeps customers coming back.

"Customer service is not what it used to be in certain areas and people like that, it means a lot," said Kanning.

"If you have a negative atmosphere in your store, it won't matter what you are selling, it won't be a positive place to be," added Wilder.

The folks at Hicks say that is the key to keeping business alive. Going that extra step for customers will keep them coming back, even when money is tight.

Hicks Clothing
115 North Broad Street
Thomasville, GA 31792-5114
(229) 226-4363

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