Downtown clothier to close its doors in May

Village Squire manager retires

VILLAGE SQUIRE manager Stuart Rogers, left, shows Dan Robinson suits at the Village Squire Clothiers, 419 Main Street, in downtown Grand Junction on Tuesday. After 17 years, the store will close around May 2.

Economic reality has reached into Stuart Rogers’ pockets.

Rogers is the manager of the Village Squire Clothiers, 419 Main St. For 17 years the men’s clothing store had been the only place in the county, if not the entire Western Slope, to find top-end men’s clothing. It will close around May 2, when the current inventory is predicted to be sold at discounted prices.

“The economy is reaching out, and a lot of the people do have the money, but they are seeing their IRAs and 401(k)s cut in half and they are pulling in the reins just a little bit,” said Rogers, manager and former co-owner of the store.

“It was a tough decision, but I think it was a decision that had to be made at this point in time.”

The store is owned by Brown’s Shoe Fit Co., which is next door. In 1992, Rogers and Brown’s partnered to open the store.

By 1998, Rogers sold his interest in the company and went into the jewelry business for a short time before being asked to return as manager of the Squire.

“I am a clothes hound. I love clothes,” Rogers said.

His love of threads came across every day to the Squire’s many loyal customers.

On Tuesday, the same day the store announced its closing, many said they were dismayed at the news of the store’s demise.

“I don’t understand. There are still a lot of men who like decent clothes,” said Wanda Putnam, who was shopping with her husband, William, snapping up the going-out-of-business discounts.

“It is very disturbing,” William said.

The Putnams, like other Squire’s customers this day, said they did not know where they would go in the future for quality men’s clothes. But Denver, they said, seemed like the best place to look.

Craig Lamberty, who was out shopping with his wife, Laura, said he has frequented the Squire for years.

“It’s too bad. There is no place in town that has this quality clothing,” Craig said.

Richard Knott, eying dress-shirts with his wife, Deb, at his side, said he’s known Stuart since before the Squire opened and he’s been a loyal customer since day one.

“There is a difference in quality and fit — and service too,” Knott said. “We will certainly miss this store. It certainly did fill a niche.”

The niche filled by the Squire was something beyond what hung on a rack or sat neatly folded on a shelf.

“They are family. They come in on a regular basis,” Rogers said of the customers he has gotten to know over the years. “It is that closeness that you don’t get anywhere else. We are a neighborhood clothing store and I took pride in making other people feel comfortable.”

Rogers said he will accept a position at Brown’s Shoe Co. The Squire’s two other employees will be laid off.

But don’t be surprised if one day, a year or two in the future, Rogers is helping a customer into a suit jacket, pick out a snappy tie or size up a top-notch belt at a men’s clothing store of his own.

“If the economy turns around and things are looking prosperous, I have kept all my contacts, and who is to say I won’t try it again in a year, two years,” Rogers said.


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