• Longtime Forsyth County store to close for good following holidays

    By: Berndt Petersen

    Updated:

    CUMMING, Ga. - It's the end of an era for one of the oldest family-owned businesses in the metro.

    Parsons Gifts in Cumming first opened as a general store back in the 1870s, but in an age where so many people make purchases online or with a smartphone, the store said it can no longer compete.

    April Pruitt and her mother, Jeanne Parks, told Channel 2’s Berndt Petersen when you like a place, you keep coming back.

    "I have lived in Cumming 52 years. As long as I can remember, Parsons has been our store," Pruitt said.

    Parsons is three stores under one roof in Forsyth County. For shoppers visiting the store on Wednesday, it could be one of their last times shopping there.


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    "Sadly, it's a sign of the times. It's sad," Parks said.

    Co-owner Kay Montgomery told Petersen that the going-out-of-business sale will begin on Thursday.

    "I grew up in the store. As a little girl, I used to pick up Coca-Cola bottles around the grocery store," Montgomery said.

    Parsons opened 142 years ago. The shop lasted through the Great Depression and both world wars and was even rebuilt after a fire.

    But in the end, internet shopping has done them in.

    "Oh, my gosh. Have you walked around here and seen all the customers? I've been shedding tears. It has been a gut-wrenching decision," co-owner Cris Willis said.

    Montgomery told Petersen that they've tried to hang on, but they could no longer compete with the online merchants.

    She said what she’ll miss the most are the smiling faces.

    "Our customers are not just our business. They are our friends," Montgomery said.

    Parsons will close for good in February.

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