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Elmore's was a discount store that carried household neccessities, toiletries, and candy. They had stores throughout the southeast and had at least seven stores in the Birmingham District during the 20th century. The company was founded by Virgil J. Elmore in 1915.

Elmore had a practice of renovating existing buildings in the downtown sections of small towns, putting in a modern store and prospering because of little competition.

Newspaper clippings from the company archives show that Elmore owned 24 stores in 1936 and had 44 in Alabama and Mississippi at the time of his death in 1942 in an auto accident in Birmingham. After his death, the company expanded to Tennessee, Georgia, and South Carolina.

The corporate offices were moved from Clanton to Birmingham in 1940 to be close to the city's distribution network.

The company was bought by S. H. Kress & Company in the late 1970's. At the time of the merger, many of Elmore's administrative personnel were let go and their jobs were moved to S. H. Kress & Company headquarters in New York City.

In 1975, there were Elmore stores located in Bessemer, Cahaba Heights, Center Point, Gardendale, Graysville, Homewood (store #51), and North Birmingham (store #34).


  • Bryant, Walter (September 29, 1996) "More than history of stores in Elmore's archival photos" The Birmingham News