SPRINGFIELD, Ore. – Laxton’s Big & Tall Men’s Clothing Store, which has been a family-owned and operated local landmark since 1955, will sell its entire inventory in a quitting-business sale that begins next week.
“I’m not sure what the future holds for me, but it’s time for a change,” said Kent Laxton who has worked in the store since he was an eighth grader in 1969. “Business has been very tough since the economic downturn. Men’s clothing purchases can become a low priority for families having a hard time.”
The store’s inventory sale opens to the public next Thursday. Laxton’s, located at 505 South “A” Street, will be open 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. weekdays, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturday, and 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Sunday during the sale.
Laxton’s parents launched their store in 1955 as Walt Laxton’s Store for Men in an era when big & tall sizes were almost unheard of. There was only one store in Oregon that carried extra sizes at that time, and it was in Portland. Kent’s father also sold a line of suits on the road to supplement his store’s income, and the store in Portland was one of his clients.
“He saw a need for that market in our area, so he put in a big & tall department. Over the years we became known especially for big & tall, so we closed out our regular sizes in the late ‘70s,” Kent Laxton said.
When Walt passed away suddenly in 1985, his wife, Lily, stepped up and took a more active role in the business. Lily Laxton, 86, still works at the store, doing alterations and helping customers.
Kent Laxton expressed his appreciation for the loyalty of the store’s long-time clientele.
“We changed the name from ‘Walt Laxton’s Store for Men’ to Laxton’s Big & Tall in the early 1980s, and we still have customers who sign Walt Laxton’s on their checks. We’ve met so many nice people, and made a lot of great friends over the years.”
He added “I was very fortunate to grow up and work in a family business in an era when people’s shopping experiences were more personal. While big box stores have their advantages, it’s just not the same.”