MARSHALL, Mo. – Jerry’s Mens Wear and Lin’s Fashions, local retail mainstays for nearly two decades, will sell their entire inventories and close as owner Jerry Hedrick brings his 50-year retail clothing career to an end.
Hedrick and his wife, Linda, have owned the two businesses located at 24 N. Jefferson Ave., since 1999. The stores’ inventory sale, which is open to the public, will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4:00 p.m. Sunday this week. The store will resume its regular hours — 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday — next week.
“We decided that it’s time. We have grandkids that are all active in sports and lots of other things, and we’re looking forward to seeing more of them and sharing in those activities,” Jerry Hedrick said today.
Hedrick was in high school when he landed his first job in men’s retail. A neighbor told him that he should apply for an opening at Rose & Buckner, a local men’s clothing store. “I started out stocking shelves, sweeping the front of the store. I was basically a go-fer,” Hedrick recalled.
At one time, there were several Buckner-related stores but Rose & Buckner was in business for about 120 years.
“Two generations of Buckners and three generations of Roses ran it,” Hedrick said. “One of the managing partners was a third-generation member of the Rose family who had been in the Army, graduated from West Point, served in Germany, Korea and Vietnam then taught at West Point before coming back to Marshall after he retired as a colonel.”
In the late 1960s, Hedrick opted for a different job but returned to the Rose & Buckner fold in 1973. In 1993, owners chose to close the store and the Hedricks made the decision to venture out on their own. They took over the previous store site and offered a wide variety of men’s and women’s fashions.
From the start, Hedrick put a premium on delivering superior customer service.
“That’s what we’re about — and what we’ve always been about. We are a full-service business. We have a tailor in house,” he said. “We know our customers by name, we care about them and you do have quite a bond with them. That’s the thing I’ll miss.”
Hedrick has seen a number of industry changes over the years, from economic ups and downs and numerous fashion trends to the arrival of the dressed-down casual Friday workplace.
“I’ve always said, ‘Women shop, men buy.’ Men wait until they need something before they buy it,” said Hedrick. He added, with a laugh, “I’ve always said, ‘If it wasn’t for wives and girlfriends, there would be a lot of naked guys.'”
Perhaps the most significant industry change has been the huge impact that online shopping has had a small retailers. “The internet has really changed the retail business the past four or five years,” he said.
Hedrick acknowledges the process of closing the stores and winding down his career is “a bit scary,” but he is looking forward to retirement. “It’s been an interesting 50 years. If I had to do it all again, would I? Probably,” he said. “I wouldn’t want to change my life.”
Linda Hedrick added, “Jerry’s a story teller and customers love him. They’ll miss the stories he shares, along with the way he’s helped to outfit them over the years.
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