Ronnie Bailes Interview – November 29th, 2017
How long has this store been open? How long have you owned The Men’s Shop?
RB: Well, the store has been open since 1948. 69 years. It was started by my father. I purchased the store from my family January 1st, 1973. So, I’ve owned it 45 years. This is my 45th year. So, I’ve owned it long enough and loved doing it, but it’s time to retire and unfortunately the only way to quit it is to close it.
What is one of the happiest or funniest or most memorable moments from owning the shop?
RB: Wow. It’s a collective memory of having young guys work for me that have come out of high school kind of, you know, shy, and watch them go to college. They come back and work after the first year of college, they come back in the summertime and they’re mature. They’re mature men. I’ve really enjoyed that and I’ve mentored a lot of kids. It’s been, I don’t know how many, but I’ve had some of them come back, and I had one in here yesterday. He’s sixty years old. He was my first.
One of my additional questions to Ronnie surrounded his plans for retirement. He explained his need to have some time without a strict schedule of responsibility. He’s taking six months to spend time with family, visit grandkids, and finish the paperwork of closing The Men’s Shop. After that, he’ll consider new opportunities.