KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Clarence Gardiner thought he would keep his men’s clothing store open for a couple of years.
“Two years turned into 21,” he casually notes.
And after being closed from mid-March to mid-July, Gardiner finds his store has been able to survive the pandemic, still offering the selection C’s Perfect Tie and Accessories has been known for: “I have suits. I have shirts, I have ties. I have shoes. I have both ties, I have cufflinks. I have undergarments, I have casual wear. I cover pretty much all of it.”
“It's been tough for everyone. There were points downtown here where there's only two cars on the street. You know, there were some days here I came in, maybe two people come in, during the whole day. Yesterday, I had one customer that came in, you know, then there's been days where I've had four or five people that have come in.”
While Gardiner maintains records of customers’ measurements, you don’t need to know measurements for someone you are buying for. Gift certificates are the answer, and he will take care of the customer service when the certificate is redeemed. “He can come in and pick out what he wants.”
Gardiner remembers all the small businesses in downtown Kalamazoo. “The only thing that I'm just praying for is that for the small businesses downtown, is that the people will shop with us”
Other local businesses to shop:
- Market on Michigan Ave: 119 E. Michigan Avenue, Kalamazoo
- Fanfare: 4415 S. Westnedge Avenue, Kalamazoo
- South. St. Cigar & Spirits: 250. S. Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo
- Gales True Value: 2825 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo