GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Anderson’s Clothing was abuzz Friday with the usual swarm of high school junior and senior boys who were being fitted with tuxedos for the Glenwood Springs High School prom Saturday night.
It’s a springtime rite that Monica Miller, the downtown Glenwood store’s owner and manager for the past 17 years, will miss as she prepares to liquidate her stock of clothing and accessories and close on June 30.
Known by its motto, “The cure for the common clothes,” downtown Glenwood’s oldest retail store announced Sunday that it will be closing after 40 years in business at 826 Grand Ave.
“I thought about trying to sell it about six years ago, but I just couldn’t let it go, I loved it too much,” Miller said. “Now, I just think it would be too difficult for a new business owner to come in and try to keep it going.
“I’m ready, but saying goodbye will be difficult,” she said. “This store feels like a part of the family.”
Indeed, it is.
Miller took over the store in 1997 from her parents, Phil and Joan Anderson, who had founded it in 1974. They also later owned the building where the store is located for several years, and which still bears their name even though it changed hands about six years ago.
Specializing in jeans wear when they opened, a good friend of the Andersons, Cliff Collins, who managed the old downtown J.C. Penney store, suggested the original name Anderson’s Pants Pocket, Miller recalled.
“Red shag carpet covered the floor and hundreds of bell bottoms jeans filled the racks,” she said of those early days.
Soon, they offered leisure suits, which Miller said were as popular with conservative bankers and ranchers as they were with the hip young generation of that time.
By 1978, the store had evolved into a men’s and women’s clothing store and was renamed Anderson’s Clothing. To this day, Miller said some customers still make their checks out to Anderson’s Pants Pocket.
“For a guy living in western Colorado, dressing up is a pair of black Levi’s,” she said. “So we carried everything from jeans, T-shirts and casual wear to elegant dress-up fashions for the ladies.”
Her parents still reside in Glenwood Springs and, though sad to see the family institution go away, said they are happy to see their daughter get out from the daily grind of running a retail venture.
“Glenwood Springs and downtown Glenwood have been good to the Andersons and to the Millers,” Phil Anderson said. “We’re happy that Monica has had a good run with the store, and it’s been a pleasant thing to have her be able to take it on and keep the Anderson name going.
“We’re going to miss going into the store, but we’re happy to have been a part of Glenwood for all these years,” he said.
Anderson’s has also been Glenwood Springs’ one and only tuxedo rental shop for many years, and will continue to rent for any occasion before the end of June. However, if anyone is in the market to own a tuxedo, those will eventually need to go as well.
“Having just outfitted over 200 boys with prom tuxedos, we’re bracing ourselves for the next challenge of emptying our 40-year abode,” Miller said. “More difficult yet will be saying goodbye to customers who became longtime friends.”
Miller, whose husband Gary Miller operates their sister store, Miller’s Dry Good in Rifle where they live, said she plans to work a “couple of days a week” there after the Glenwood store closes.
“I can still keep my hand in it down there, and of course we’d love to see people come down and shop there,” she said.
Anderson’s will begin having its liquidation sale on Monday, in preparation for a June 30 closing.