When Glenn Walker and LeRoy Seipp opened a men's clothier in Lancaster in 1928, their vision was to offer quality clothing at an affordable price. Now a 16,000 square-foot store owned by Glenn's grandson Steve Walker, the shop has grown into a fashion destination for the entire family.
"We offer an entire line of clothing for men, women and children while continuing to offer quality personal service not found in traditional retail stores," Steve Walker, 51, explained.
The store carries men's suits and their components in a wide range of sizes, as well as tailor-made suits. "Customers from all walks of life — farmers, legislators, coaches, funeral directors, bankers, lawyers from all over the Midwest — come to us for a tailor-made suit," Steve Walker said.
The shoe department carries 23,000 pairs of men's ladies and children's shoes including SAS, Naturalizer, LifeStride, Keen, Florsheim, Nunn Bush and New Balance. The store's 14 employees have a combined 151 years of experience.
Steve Walker's father, J.D., began working in the business at an early age. When Glenn passed away suddenly in 1959, J.D. purchased the shares of the business from his mother and sister and became partners with Seipp. In 1969, he became sole owner of the business.
Steve began working in the store with his father in 1979. For the next 11 years, the business continued to expand. In 1990, J.D. sold out to Steve but stayed on for two more years to help in the business.
In 1995, an opportunity to buy the adjoining two buildings arose and Steve added two businesses. Monkeys Tale, a children's store featuring clothing for preemies to big kids, as well as educational toys and books, is ending its run this year; a store-closing sale at its two locations began this month. Steve said business is picking up at Imprints, which offers screen-printing and embroidery for personalized promotional products.
"I am very fortunate to be a part of a successful third-generation business in a business category that is very tough to be in. We have managed to not only survive but grow at a time when many of the others in our industry are calling it quits. Our continued success is the result of our staff taking pride and ownership in what they do. They have had huge impact on our journey."