LUDINGTON, Mich. – Raven’s Men’s Women’s and Shoes, a local retail mainstay for more than two decades, is quitting business and will sell its entire inventory, owner Chris Raven said today.
“It’s such an emotional decision, it really is, but I know in my heart that it’s the right decision for my family,” he said.
The public sale of the store’s inventory will begin on Thursday, June 16. The store, 117 E. Ludington Ave., will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. weekdays, 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturday and 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Sunday during the quitting-business sale.
Raven began his retail career in Manistee in 1982 after playing professional basketball in Argentina. “When I came home, my dad asked, ‘Would you like to buy a clothing store?’ I really knew nothing about running a store at the time but we made the deal and the business was a real success for us.”
Raven met his future wife, who also was in the retail clothing business, in Manistee. After they married, she bought the women’s clothing to stock the stores while Raven purchased the men’s clothing. Raven Men’s Wear opened in Ludington in 1986 when the building where the store is located came up for rent. The couple operated both stores until 2006 when they closed the Manistee location.
“I had some regrets when we closed the Manistee store but not as much as with this one. I’m more tied to the area. I grew up in the county,” Raven said. “My family is here. My wife’s family is here. Our customers have just been the best any retailer could hope for. So, all of that makes the decision to close the Ludington store just that much harder.”
He continued, “I’d hoped to continue for a few more years, especially because the business remains strong. But, there’s a time for everything and after a terrific run it’s time to slow down a little and do something else.”
Raven noted that a smaller store the couple owns, Ludington Gear, will continue business as normal.