1936 – The Beginning
The Spalding Hosiery Shoppe (aka The Sock Shoppe and B. Turner’s), was opened in 1936 by Robert and Gladys Futral. The history of the store begins in a single garage stall that was located across from Spalding Knitting Mills, which was the area’s largest hosiery mill at the time.
Our country was still struggling to come out of the Great Depression. Mr. Futral was working at the Spalding Knitting Mills and saw many socks being disposed of due to slight irregularities in the knitting process. He proposed a joint venture with the mill owner to sell these socks to mill workers for a fraction of the price they would have to pay in the store. While Mr. Futral worked in the mill, Mrs. Futral worked in the garage stall selling these socks.
As business grew, Mr. Futral started adding more items than just socks to their little store. On Saturday, the Sock Shoppe would open in the morning and Mr. and Mrs. Futral would work, selling the irregulars and overruns from the factory, at very cheap prices. Then at lunch the store would close, and Mr.and Mrs. Futral with their daughter – Barbara Turner - would travel to wholesalers in Atlanta to try and find bargains for their customers back in Griffin. On Saturday night they would return with their car loaded with merchandise and Mr. Futral would head back to the store to unload. Customers would be waiting to make their purchases.
The Sock Shoppe really made a name for itself as a shopping destination during World War II, when stockings were not readily available because much of the fibers needed for production were being used for the war effort. Mr. Futral, through his connections with the mill, was able to get allotments of stockings. He was the only merchant in the area to have a supply and people came from all over the area to get their stockings. Although these stockings could have been sold to other retailers at a higher price, Mr. Futral wanted his customers to have them. He sold these stockings at pre-war prices and limited quantities to each customer so as many people as possible could get a pair. In that day, stockings were a must have for every woman, so the line of customers waiting for their stockings would stretch for several blocks.
Mr. Futral eventually retired from the Spalding Knitting Mills and devoted all his time to their store. He worked tirelessly finding products for his customers and the mills he made connections made with across the South are some of the same mills we buy from today.
Sadly, Mrs. Futral passed away in 1983. Mr. Futral continued to be active in the store until shortly before his death in 1987. The Sock Shoppe was then turned over to their daughter - Barbara Turner and their grandson - Bud Turner.
Bud had just graduated from The College of William and Mary and brought many new ideas to the business. It was during his early years that sweatshirts became popular and he further increased the product line at the store.
1991 – The Kids Shoppe opens
Mr. and Mrs. Futral’s granddaughter - Meredith DePalma joined the business. Her family relocated from Massachusetts to Georgia. She had two small children and very few options for children’s clothes, thus The Kids Shoppe was born. Today, the Kids Shoppe is the responsibility of the 4th generation of the Futral family – Cari DePalma Anderson. She has two young children and since 2015 has been bringing her perspective as a young mom to children’s clothing in all of our stores. Her goal is to find affordable, comfortable and trendy clothing for kids at low prices.
1998 – Expansion to Macon
As business continued to flourish the family decided to enter the Macon market. The Sock Shoppe Macon was opened in a strip mall on Eisenhower Parkway and was successful immediately. In 2001, the Sock Shoppe Macon was moved to a business shopping center on Mercer University Drive.
2009 – Expansion to Lagrange
The country was reeling from the economic collapse in 2007 and 2008. Our business saw this as an opportunity to expand to another city. Due to many retail chains closing their doors, a retail space opened up in the Lagrange Mall and we knew this was the space for us. During this expansion, another one of Mr. Futral’s great-granddaughters – Allison DePalma Wood joined the family business. Allison played an integral role in opening this new store and becoming a buyer for our twenty-something customers.
We are very thankful for our customers in Troup County and we look forward to the future.
2012 – Changes in Macon
After much discussion in Macon, the Sock Shoppe decided to move to a location in the newly renovated Macon Mall. Along with the move, the name was changed to B. Turners. The family’s name was used as it reflects the fact that our stores are now a complete family clothing store – not just a sock store.
Macon-Bibb county is a great place to do business. We are so thankful for the support we have received in the community since our opening there in 1998 and look forward to continue serving the community in the future.
2014 – New family member joins
With our three locations growing rapidly, another great-granddaughter of Mr. Futral – Sarah Turner – joined the family business. Sarah brought her artistic talents to the store in the form of advertising and social media as well as a great eye for buying. Her focus is in the Fast Fashion Contemporary business, traveling to find the latest trends and getting them quickly into our store at affordable prices.
To this day, we have children and grandchildren of these original customers shopping at our store. We love to hear stories of past shopping trips to the Sock Shoppe.
From a garage stall we have become three stores with 88,000 square feet of retail space carrying a full range of clothing for the entire family. Our buyers travel to Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and Las Vegas to find great deals to bring back to our shoppers. Our goal is to make shopping at the Sock Shoppe an adventure. We want our customers to always be surprised by what they find here.
Our formula is still the same – sell quality products at reasonable prices.
We hope you will come down to Griffin, Macon, or LaGrange and visit us soon!