A fashionable finale for Kerreen's Clothing


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Photo by Eoin Devereux

Left to right: Maureen Turner and Brenda Madill of Kerreen’s Clothing.


By Eoin Devereux

Neepawa Banner & Press

After nearly two decades of providing the community with the latest in quality fashions, Kerreen’s Clothing in Neepawa has decided now’s the time to have their biggest sale ever. It will, however, also be their final sale ever, as the well regarded local business has decided to cease operations.

Maureen Turner, the owner and operator of Kerreen’s, formally made the announcement to her clientele in late-May. Turner said that while this was a very difficult decision to make, it felt as though it was the right time to do so.

“Everybody at some point says to themselves ‘When am I going to retire?’, and so this is what we decided. And I need to spend more time with my husband. He’s been working in Saskatchewan and I’ve been working here in Neepawa. We get a chance to get together every six days, so perhaps it’s time,” noted Turner. “For as long as we’ve been in business, I’ve had a great staff and the support that we’ve had from the community has been tremendous. If it wasn’t the timing of it, I probably wouldn’t have closed just now, but in this business, there are really two opportunities during the year for me to close. When I have a good stock of summer wear or in the fall when I have a good stock of winter wear so that you can have a decent offering to customers.”

As for the history of the business, Kerreen’s first began in 2000 with a slightly different focus on fashion, as it was a western shop. Originally located on Gill Drive, Turner said that it quickly became popular enough that it could branch out to ladies wear and therefore needed additional space to accommodate. The next stop was  Highway #16, along with Brahma’s Grill and Steakhouse. That larger location provided three times the space that Kerreen’s previously had, allowing the store to flourish over the next two years. Then, in 2008, the ongoing success forced ladies fashion to relocate to 244 Hamilton, while the western shop remained at the Brahma’s location.  That worked fine for about a year, until the U.S. housing crisis hit, which caused global ramifications to property values. The ladies fashions would move back to the highway until 2013 when the business in its entirety would find a new home in the former Odd Fellows Building at 376 Mountain Avenue. To go along with the change in location was a change in focus, as the ladies wear became the primary attraction, though Turner did add that some men’s wear was also available due to popular demand.

“We finally decided to shift attention specifically to the ladies wear, but there’s a little bit of men’s wear mixed in, but that was because I had a loyal clientele who’d walk in and get their jeans,” stated Turner. “Even now, we’re getting calls from men, who are asking ‘Can I still get some jeans? Do you still have my size?’ And I am doing one last order.”

The final location shift would occur two years later when Turner decided to purchase and then relocate to the former Sears building in downtown Neepawa. One thing that followed Turner from location to location was a dedicated client base, which she expressed gratitude for. She believed that dedication was earned by ensuring they always provided service that was above and beyond what you’d receive from a fashion chain in the city.

“That’s part of what we were about. The personal service. [For example] We have one order that’s a 33 waist with a 32 inseam. Nowadays, that’s not an off-the-shelf size for most stores, and most places would be like ‘Oh sorry, we don’t have that.’ and provide no followup or no offer to order it. I’m building an order right now for some of the people who realize they’re not going to be able to get their jeans [after the closure],” Turner said. 

In reflecting on the past 18 years, Turner was quick to thank those who were always supportive of the business over the years, including her employees, Brenda Madill and Marilyn Kaye.  She said it’s been a tremendous experience.

“I’ve been at it 18 years and enjoyed interacting with the customers throughout that time. But I think I’ve had all the fun I need to have and now it’s just time to focus on other things that are important,” stated Turner. “We’ve done well, we’ve had fun and it’s just time to move on.”