90-Year-Old Woman Retires After 74 Years of Sales at Dillard’s!

In an extraordinary display of dedication and unwavering commitment, Melba Mebane, a 90-year-old Texan, bid farewell to her remarkable career at Dillard’s department store this month. Spanning an incredible 74 years, Mebane’s tenure at the company was characterized by a perfect attendance record and an unrivaled work ethic. Throughout her illustrious career, she never missed a day of work or called in sick, leaving an indelible mark on both the store and the hearts of her colleagues and customers.

Melba Mebane poses for the camera at her retirement party (Terry Mebane)

Mebane began her journey in 1949 as an “elevator girl” at the Mayer & Schmidt department store in Tyler, Texas, which was later acquired by Dillard’s in 1956. Over the years, she transitioned to various departments, ultimately settling in cosmetics, where she excelled as a salesperson. Her ability to transform small sales into substantial transactions and her exceptional rapport with customers earned her a sterling reputation.

Renowned for her warmth, infectious laughter, and captivating stories, Mebane became a cherished figure not only among her coworkers but also within the community. Colleagues and friends describe her as a mentor and confidante who provided guidance and advice on life. Her immense popularity extended beyond the store, as she touched the lives of countless individuals with her genuine care and compassion.

Mebane’s son, Terry Mebane, a financial adviser, fondly recalls his childhood spent in the corridors of Dillard’s. He attributes his strong work ethic to his mother’s inspirational example, emphasizing her punctuality, meticulous preparation, and unyielding dedication to customer service.

Recognizing her exceptional sales prowess, manufacturers would send Mebane complimentary perfume bottles to showcase their products. Her generosity knew no bounds, as she delighted in sharing these samples with friends, family, and even the local pastor, earning her the endearing nickname “cosmetic bootlegger.”

As Mebane aged, Dillard’s accommodated her needs, ensuring she no longer worked nights or Sundays. Her influence and rapport with loyal customers proved invaluable to the store’s success, with many patrons specifically seeking her assistance. The deep-rooted connections she fostered with customers and corporate leadership, including the Dillard family, exemplified her role as the heart of the store.

Recently, health issues compelled Mebane to contemplate retirement, and at the age of 90, she decided it was time to bid farewell to her beloved workplace. A retirement celebration held on June 17 honored her outstanding career, where she was presented with the “Beyond Excellence” award, recognizing her decades of service that surpassed all expectations.

While Mebane expressed gratitude for her long retail journey, she admitted that technology and the anxiety to perform were some of her challenges. Nonetheless, her advice to newcomers in the industry was to approach work with dedication and view it as an opportunity to make a difference.

Melba Mebane’s retirement marks the end of an era at Dillard’s, leaving behind a remarkable legacy of unwavering commitment, exceptional salesmanship, and a genuine connection with people. Her contributions will forever be cherished by her colleagues, friends, and the countless lives she touched throughout her extraordinary career.

Fox News


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