BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — On Monday, customers shuffled through the shelves of remaining items at the once-bustling Country Casuals women’s retail shop in Brownsville.

An icon in the lower Rio Grande Valley for over 55 years, Country Casuals was opened in 1967 by the late Jayme & David Gelfer and since was taken over by their daughter Robin Gelfer-Pierce and her husband Mike Pierce.

Gelfer-Pierce said her parents always put the customers first and made everyone feel at home.

“It’s my life, it was my parents’ life,” she said.

Long-time customers like Beth Pace recall Country Casual as the only place you could get dressed head-to-toe for any occasion.

“There had been four generations of my family that has shopped here at Country Casuals,” said Pace. “The Gelfers, Mr. & Mrs. Gelfer always treated everyone like family, and Mike and Robin have continued that legacy.”

Store manager, Norma Weaver, said she has worked for the Gelfer’s for 46 years and intends on working until the doors close for good.

“It really hasn’t hit me just yet; I know that I am trying to stay strong for everyone else around here,” said Weaver. “This was my home away from home basically because that’s where I’ve been all this time.”

Gelfer-Pierce said her mother passed this year due to cancer and held onto Country Casuals until she was gone because the store was her mother’s world.

“This was my mother’s life, she didn’t have any hobbies or anything, this is what she loved and we couldn’t take it away from her,” said Gelfer-Pierce.

The decision to close came because retail business became harder to maintain in a digital age plus the strain from the pandemic, according to both Robin and her husband.

The couple had plans to re-brand and open a smaller store, but the passing of Mrs. Gelfer put further plans on pause.

“It’s something that my parents encouraged us to do, whenever we thought it would be time to close the store, they were behind that,” said Gelfer-Pierce.

The Pierce family said they have met many teary-eyed customers but believe where one door closes another will open.

“It’s our livelihood, and it’s our love, this is what we do this is our passion,” said Gelfer-Pierce.

Country Casuals is looking to sell all remaining items including furniture and clothing racks. The official closing date will be sometime in January 2022 according to Gelfer-Pierce.