Prolonged Economic Slump Forces Long-time Main Street Retailer, B. Wright Limited, to Sell Entire Line of Men’s Clothing

October 20, 2011

ZIONSVILLE, Ind. – While praising the community for “many years of incredible support,” the owner of B. Wright Limited said today the local retail will sell its entire line of men’s apparel in a sale that will begin next Wednesday.

“I can’t say enough about how well Zionsville has treated us. We couldn’t have been in a better town,” said Brian Wright, whose family has owned the store since 1968.

The store’s inventory sale will begin next Wednesday. The store, 140 S. Main St., will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. weekdays, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturday and 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Sunday during the sale. Wright said that he hopes to continue the alterations and tuxedo rental portions of his business.

Wright noted that the store’s original owner opened at the South Main Street location in 1939. Wright’s father moved from Lafayette in 1963 to work at the clothing store. He left the store several years later to operate a local five-and-dime, but returned to the clothing store in 1968 as its new owner.

“I did chores at the store at an earlier age but started waiting on customers when I was 15. Dad taught me how to do alterations when I was 15, too. At the time I thought, ‘Why are you showing me this? But it turned out to be a blessing.”

Brian did leave the family business in 1978 for a brief time, moving to Arizona for five months to work in the landscaping industry. He returned to the area and worked for as a bricklayer’s assistant before returning to the store.
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After 45 Years in Business, Wells Big & Tall Store in Marion to Close its Doors

October 3, 2011

MARION, Ill. – Sabrina Yearack, owner of the Wells Big & Tall Store, might be thinking of that old Kenny Rogers song “The Gambler” as she announced today that she will close the store her family founded in 1966.

Yearack, who persuaded her father to move exclusively to big and tall clothing in 1990, has known when to hold her cards and now she’s decided it’s time to fold them.

“For 21 years, we’ve had a great run in the big and tall clothing business and I feel like I’m going out on top. Our store is in an excellent financial position and I’m getting out now because I’ve seen too many of my peers forced out,” Yearack said. “We’re having the sale because I’ve chosen to move on to my next adventure. I’m not sure what that adventure is yet, but I plan on making it as fun and memorable as these years have been.”

The public sale of the store’s inventory will begin Thursday. The store, 1010 East Dickinson St., will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. weekdays, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturday and 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Sunday during the quitting-business sale.

The Wells family, including Yearack’s grandparents, father and brother moved to Marion from California, opening a used clothing store called Wells California Clothing in 1966.

“Back in those days, thrift stores were something new in Southern Illinois. My Dad and Grandpa used to travel back and forth to California every other month to buy merchandise from donation centers in Beverly Hills,” she explained.

As her grandparents retired in 1968, Yearack’s parents, Chuck and Bobbie, shifted the store’s focus to new men’s wear and ladies’ wear, buying clothes from the then-flourishing garment district in St. Louis. She joined the family business in 1988.

“I had never wanted to work in the business because I had grown up in it and saw firsthand how hard my parents worked, but joined thinking I would do it to help them until I found something else. I found out I really loved it,” Yearack said. “Dad let me take on most of the business and it really flourished.”

Her family had first ventured into the big and tall niche in the mid-1980s as a number of chain stores – “all the biggies,” as Yearack notes – began to set up shop in the area. On her advice, her father discontinued regular menswear and moved strictly to big and tall clothing in 1990. “He knew it was the right decision,” she said.

Since then, the specialty store has provided dress and casual apparel for big and tall men throughout southern Illinois, southern Indiana, Kentucky and southeast Missouri.

“The trend toward casual clothes has hurt mom-and-pop clothing stores all over the country and a lot of those stores went away in the 1990s because new malls sprang up in every neighborhood, but we’ve done well,” Yearack said. “We have clients who have shopped with us for 40 years. They’ve brought their children and grandchildren in and they’re still shopping with us. They’re going to miss our store and we’re going to miss them.”

She noted her building will be available for lease after the store’s merchandise has been sold.

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