Biz Buzz: Downtown clothier sews up shop
Sep 28, 2012 | 5885 views | 9 9 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Men's wear shop closing
Pam and Richard Hughes of Richard’s Men’s Wear and Tuxedo Rentals have announced they will close their downtown business after 32 years.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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A husband-and-wife team that has operated one of the retail mainstays in downtown Tracy for more than three decades is beginning the process of closing the doors.

Richard and Pam Hughes of Richard’s Men’s Wear and Tuxedo Rentals, 70 W. 10th St., have announced they will close the menswear portion of the business, beginning next week with the start of a closing sale, and sell the tuxedo side to an unnamed new owner.

“We’ve been here for 32 years, and it’s been a good ride,” Richard Hughes said this week, “but Pam and I are ready to retire. It wasn’t an easy decision, but we feel it is the right one for us.”

Word of the pending closure came just a week after another Tracy couple in business also for 32 years, Gerard and Lynn Gonzalves, announced the sale of Gerard’s Deli on Central Avenue.

Richard and Pam Hughes, both 65, have operated the business in what was originally known as Ten-Bee Village since 1980.

Once among six stores in Tracy’s downtown that sold men’s clothing, it is the last to survive in the changing world of retail sales.

“We’ve been a true mom-and-pop specialty store,” Pam Hughes said. “We have offered quality merchandise you don’t see in big-box stores. And we have really stressed customer service.”

In deciding to close the clothing end of the business, the Hugheses felt there was no ready buyer for that kind of business. Stores featuring only men’s clothing are a rarity nowadays, they said.

The tuxedo-rental part of the store, however, will be sold to a new owner, whose name has not yet been announced but who will continue it in operation. Existing tuxedo-rental agreements will be honored.

According to Richard Hughes, the closing process will begin Wednesday, Oct. 3, when the store’s going-out-of-business sale begins. The store will remain open as long as there is merchandise, including newly arrived fall fashions, he said.

The retail area of Richard’s at the corner of 10th and B streets has been a men’s clothing store for 61 years — since 1950.

That was the year Yost Bros., a Stockton-based clothing store, became one of the first tenants of the new Ten-Bee Village shopping center, one of Tracy’s first.

Angelo “Pete” Davanis, a Tracy native, managed the store until 1957, when he bought it from the Yost family and changed the name to Pete Davanis, Clothier.

Davanis operated the store until 1980, when Richard and Pam Hughes bought it. Richard Hughes had worked for Davanis while attending Tracy High School.

“It was our dream to own a clothing store, and this was our chance,” he said. “We realized our dream, and we’ve been doing it for 32 years.”

During those 32 years, men’s fashions have changed. Businessmen and professionals seldom wear suits, and casual clothing has become a dominant part of the store’s inventory, Richard Hughes said.

“We still sell suits and sports coats, but brands like Pendleton shirts and Tommy Bahama shirts and jeans are much bigger sellers,” he said. “If a young man comes in to buy a suit, he’s usually getting ready to apply for a job.”

Pam Hughes said the casual clothing the couple has sold has become more sophisticated as Tracy has become home to more former Bay Area residents.

“And we make an extra effort to provide service in providing tailoring and in ordering items we don’t have in stock,” she said. “We decided to feature quality, higher-end merchandise in the face of mall competition.”

They both said they have been fortunate to have retained a number of loyal customers, many of whom have become friends over the years. Richard has been active in the Kiwanis Club and Pam, Soroptimist International.

One of the mainstays of the store’s offerings has been the high school team jacket. A tableau that started as green-and-gold jackets for Tracy High varsity letter earners now includes jackets for West, Kimball, Millennium and Lathrop high schools.

“Almost always, names and school symbols are embroidered on the jackets,” Richard Hughes said. “Prices can range from $200 plain to $500 with extensive embroidery.”

Over the years, the business’s tuxedo-rental department has grown to generate nearly half of the store’s income, he said. Occasions such as school dances and weddings have been supplied with tuxedos of a widening variety of styles from Richard’s.

In 2007, the tuxedo-rental department was expanded into an adjacent storefront that once housed women’s stores and a bookstore. That permitted greater display of tuxedos and dressing rooms.

When retirement becomes a reality during the coming weeks or months, the Hugheses plan to do more traveling, revisiting Italy and striking out to new areas of the U.S. and the world.

“Operating a store by yourselves has kept us close to home — now we can go more freely,” Pam Hughes said.

The couple also plans to spend more time with family.

Comments
(9)
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ChrisRoberts
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September 28, 2012
I had to go to a formal event to visit family back east and this guy helped me pick the most amazing sport coat.

It's hard to find good formal stuff in casual California but Richard made it work!

For those of you who don't know, this was one of place in Tracy to get a good suit.
Huff'nDoback
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September 28, 2012
Good Luck on retirement. How sad is downtown now with those two staples Richards and Gerard's now gone. I was driving downtown on a Saturday at 5:30-6pm and the place was a ghost town. Literally no one walking or driving around on a Saturday! I dont know how to go about it, but something needs to be done. It doesnt have to be a new Pleasenton, but something. Helms shut down(which that building will sit forever now)and the Great Plate is no longer a place for night life. Just frustrated.....

ST_Family
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September 28, 2012
Agreed. Just one differing opinion in that downtown Tracy could be a 'new Pleasanton if Tracy had jobs to keep people from commuting elsewhere. Just recently, I went downdown Pleasanton at 7PM on a Tuesday and the restaurants, coffee shops were packed; people just walking, gathering, talking along main street - just because. We really need something like a neighborhood culture downtown. The 'railroad' square near the new loop is a step in the right direction and I would support more of it even with increased taxes. But, fundamentally, we need jobs in Tracy to keep people here and bring other people to Tracy to 'just hang out' after 'work'.
Ornley_Gumfudgen
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September 28, 2012
Pam & Richard

Have a great retirement, ya deserve it. Thanks fer all of th community support an friendliness ya have provided over th years. Like th deli, ya will be missed.

OG
christylover
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September 28, 2012
T H E

A N D

Y O U

F O R

LuckyInTracyNot
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September 28, 2012
Enjoy retirement ~ You will be missed, thank you for great service the both of you!
RedHotChilliPeppers
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September 28, 2012
Very helpful, very friendly. Flawless service.

Interviews went great.

Thank you !!!!!!!!!!
Macpup
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September 28, 2012
Richards will truly be missed. I can still see my sons trying on their first tux in their store with tears in my eyes. Their customer service is a rarity in this day and age. Have a great retirement!
dcose
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September 28, 2012
Pam & Richard,

An outstanding job. We'll miss you as we will Gerard's


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