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Longtime Modesto clothier Hammett's Women's Wear going out of business

Hammett's in McHenry Village was very busy Monday after word got out they'd be going out of business.
Hammett's in McHenry Village was very busy Monday after word got out they'd be going out of business.

Hammett’s Women’s Wear, the 63-year-old clothing shop in McHenry Village, will close its doors in about a month.

A steady stream of customers visited the store Monday after owners sent them a letter late last week that told them the store would begin a closing sale.

“I think we’re going to miss it terribly,” said Patricia Kenealy of Modesto, who hugged co-owner Myrne Hammett Madonna on her visit. Kenealy said she’d shopped at Hammett’s since 1969. “I always knew I could find something there.”

Madonna didn’t give a reason for the closure, which comes after the store spent decades in downtown Modesto before moving to McHenry Village in 1977.

An arson fire destroyed Hammett’s in its orginal village location in 2005, but it re-opened a few doors away within months.

Madonna, who owns the store with her daughter Katrina Princevalle, said many customers came by because they thought of Hammett’s and its employees as longtime friends.

“That’s how we treated them,” Madonna said. Her mother, Clarice Hammett, opened the store in 1945.

Longtime customer Maryjean Thompson said the store was such a fixture to her that her children made sure to buy Thompson a Christmas gift from Hammett’s after her husband was gone.

“You make an effort to come to Hammett’s,” Thompson said. “I really feel a sadness. There’s a sale, but this one isn’t fun.”

Madonna said the store will close for good on Feb. 16.

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