Downtown fixture to close its doors

By Martha Marteney - Staff Writer
Manchester - posted Thu., May. 12, 2011
Laureen Mainville has been with Glazier's Corset and Uniform Shop on Main Street in Manchester for more than 30 years.  Photos by Martha Marteney.
Laureen Mainville has been with Glazier's Corset and Uniform Shop on Main Street in Manchester for more than 30 years. Photos by Martha Marteney.

As of May 31, Manchester will lose another one of its downtown fixtures. Some five years ago, it was Marlow’s. This time, Glazier’s Corset and Uniform Store is closing.

The Glazier family first opened the shop in 1956, in a time when downtown Manchester was the bustling retail section of town.  Through the years, the shop has featured functional undergarments, nightgowns, maternity clothes and uniforms. When Marlow’s closed, Glazier’s also began selling Girl Scout merchandise.

The shop has been for sale for nearly a year. “I’m really disappointed that it’s not going to keep on,” said Laureen Mainville, the current proprietor of Glazier’s. Mainville started working in the shop as a teenager, when her mother, Rejeanne Manseau, purchased the store in the 1970s. “I started helping her, and that was it,” she said.

“You can’t go into any other stores and find these brands,” said Coventry resident Bridget Rothe. She first became a customer when looking for a nursing bra, and recently returned for specialty items to wear under her gown to her mother’s wedding. Rothe remembers the store from window shopping along Main Street as a child. 

According to Mainville, Glazier’s is the only uniform shop this side of the river. As the colors and styles evolved, uniforms took over more space in the store, which no longer sells nightgowns or maternity clothes. The shop carries all types of uniforms for the medical fields, as well as chef wear and uniforms for servers. Manchester resident Maria Rosa, who works at Hartford Hospital, has been buying her uniforms at Glazier’s for 16 years.

“It’s a dying breed,” said Mainville about her service-oriented store.  Most stores do not carry the brands she carries, nor do most stores offer fittings. She ensures that the undergarment not only fits correctly, but also fulfills its purpose. She engages her customers, both new and old, with a warmth that makes it clear she enjoys her work. “It’s very emotional, because of the years I’ve been here,” she said.

Glazier’s Corset and Uniform Store is located at 631 Main Manchester. Store hours are Tuesday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mainville can be reached during business hours at 860-643-6346. The last day to shop at this local landmark is Tuesday, May 31.

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