Partners’ clothing store in Lafayette, Louisiana is loving their new location. They recently relocated to a new, stand-alone building in a thriving, energetic part of town. They love that this location brings in lots of new, fresh faces, but is still convenient for their beloved long-term customers. After all, relationships with their customers is the most important thing to them, and has been for nearly 40 years.
Partners’ is a true family business. Don and Mavis Usie, and their son, Nick, have been working together for nearly 20 years. The business actually began in 1977 when Don started Partners’ Limited with—you guessed it—two partners. But Don became the sole owner, and the Usie’s have been running the business ever since. Nick started in the business while he was still in high school. As a young man, he was determined to head in a different direction, attending school for Electrical Engineering. But he soon came back to what he knew, and what he realized he loved to do—the family business.
Over the years, the business has seen many changes. The way men dress for work is so much more casual, that it’s expanded the categories of items that the store carries. But some things never change, as Nick pointed out: “It’s always about the customer. We’re here to help them dress for life’s occasions: weddings, job interviews, funerals, etc. You have to have their trust, you have to be there.”
Putting the customer first means that at Partner’s, service and selection are taken seriously. They continually try to expand their offerings to carry a larger and more varied selection of clothing, and offer same-day alterations—and even deliver the clothing to the customer’s home, if that’s what is needed.
St. Croix Sales Representative, Steve Yardley, knows that this family business really does put the customer first. “I love the camaraderie at their store,” says Steve. “They just built an absolute palace of a store, a really gorgeous place. It’s become an anchor and an icon in the community, and people look up to it as a strong business.”
Overall, the menswear section at Partner’s is classic-trendy. They know their customers very well, and pick only the trends that are right for their customer. Not every trend fits that description. Nick thinks that men can never go wrong with adding a soft sports coat to their wardrobe, because they can “dress it up or wear it with jeans”, as the perfect multi-functional item. They also love the polos and mock-neck knits from St. Croix for the same reason – versatility. Nick also shared that he doesn’t necessarily have a favorite item to sell to his customers, because he loves just helping them get what they need. “But it is the most fun to put together a whole look,” he said.
“When people come into our store for the first time, they’re amazed at our service and our great collection,” Nick said. “And once they’re here, we usually have a customer for life.”
Visit Don, Mavis and Nick at Partners’ Limited in Lafayette, Louisiana.