Employees at the local Dunlap’s referred calls about whether the store is closing to the company’s head-quarters in Fort Worth.

And Friday afternoon, two calls to the Fort Worth office were not immediately returned. A third call to the Fort Worth office was referred to another company official, who also did not return the call Friday afternoon.

The Dunlap’s store in Heartland Mall had huge sale signs in its windows, and people in several locations in Brownwood were holding placards advertising the sales at Dunlap’s, but employees said they could not confirm whether or not the sales were clearance or liquidation sales.

“That’s not a fact,” said one employee, who did not want to be identified. “Stuff’s out there and it’s a shame, because that’s hurting the store. Our instructions are to refer questions to the Fort Worth office.”

A story in Wednesday’s Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported “the Fort Worth-based Dunlap Co. is likely to liquidate its chain of 38 stores …” According to that report, no official announcement had been made, but a news release was to be distributed by Friday.

The Bulletin did not receive a news release by the end of the business day.

The Kerrville Daily Times reported in its Tuesday edition that Schreiner’s, a department store in the heart of downtown Kerrville owned by Dunlap, would be closing by the middle of June.

According to the Daily Times story, The Dunlap Co. started as a general store in the late 1800s in Oklahoma and eventually amassed a network of 40 retail outlets in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. Schreiner’s first opened on Christmas Eve in 1869, and in 1991, the Chas. Schreiner Co. sold the store’s name, inventory and fixtures to The Dunlap Co.

Besides Dunlap’s and Schreiner’s, the company’s retail stores operate under names such as MM Cohn, Rogers, Clark’s, Gabriel’s, Kerr’s, Kline’s and Stripling & Cox.