V. J. Elmore Company

V. J. Elmore Company
& 10

Store # 12
Demopolis, Alabama

This history of V. J. Elmore Company was printed in the Demopolis Times for the Sesquicentennial celebration that started on Saturday, October 14, 1967.

Mr. Virgil Jackson Elmore, founder of the V. J. Elmore Company, was a native Alabamian.  He was born on a farm near Gordo, Alabama, in 1887.  In November, 1925, he opened the first variety store in Clanton, and continued to open additional stores until, at the time of his death in 1942, there were 44 stores in operation.

The company originally operated a warehouse in Clanton, Alabama, as a distribution point until 1941.  Due to continued growth, the Executive office and warehouse was moved to Birminham, where it is today.

During the early 1960's General Shoe Company (Genesco) purchased the V. J. Elmore Company, acquiring S. H. Kress, Inc. in the same transaction.  Under separate operation, both variety sotres have continued to grow and expand.  V. J. Elmore, Inc. now owns and operates 103 stores in Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Georgia.

The Demopolis store was opened at  the present location in May, 1934, the twelfth store opened by the company.  In October, 1940, the sales area was doubled and completely modernized.  In July, 1954, the store was air-conditioned, and extensive improvements were made in lighting and storage space.  Since that time the store has continued to grow and change as the needs of the people of Demopolis have been made known.

Mr. J. T. Rinehart is the present manager of the Demopolis store.  He began his career with the V. J. Elmore Company in 1941, and he has continued with the company since that time, except for a tour of duty with the Army.  In 1946 he began his manager training in Eufaula and Ozark.  He had his first store in Iuka, Mississippi in 1949; since that time Mr. Rinehart has been manager of four stores, including the Demopolis Store.  He came to Demopolis in March, 1958.

The Demopolis Times
October 14, 1967