Landmark Renton Western Wear to close

A city institution, Renton Western Wear, is closing its doors forever after 62 years. - Tracey Compton, Renton Reporter
A city institution, Renton Western Wear, is closing its doors forever after 62 years.
— image credit: Tracey Compton, Renton Reporter

CORRECTION: The closing sale will be open to the public at 10 a.m., Feb. 8.

A city institution, Renton Western Wear, is closing its doors. On Friday the windows were completely covered with large signs announcing the store's closing sale next week.

The sale is open to loyal customers and friends by invitation only on Feb. 7. On Feb. 8 it will be open to the general public for 60 days. A letter from owners and siblings, Gina and Jerry Kavesh, was posted on the front door, explaining the sale and thanking customers for their business.

"After much soul searching we have decided to close Renton Western Wear after 62 years of business and three generations of family ownership," the letter stated.

The letter gave no mention of the reasons for the store's departure. The Tacoma store is shutting its doors too. Both stores were closed on Friday to prepare for the upcoming sale and will reopen to the public on 10 a.m. Feb. 8.

In the space of 10 minutes on Friday afternoon, at least five people stopped by to read the letter posted on Renton Western Wear's doors and attempted to go in, not knowing the store was closed for the day.

Renton resident Harold Batson was one such person, walking by after lunch in downtown Renton. He used to buy jeans from the store in the 1970s.

"It's like anything else; I hate to see a local business close," said Batson. "It's something that's been here forever."

He hasn't shopped at the store in a while, but said his daughter did occasionally.

"She's going to be bummed," he said.

In the postings on the front doors, customers were told to watch their inboxes for more information regarding the closing sale. Renton Western Wear has an online retail business as well. The invitation-only sale is to include $1.5 million worth of inventory. Renton Western Wear sells all manner of boots, jeans, hats, belts, jewelry, toys and gifts.

The store started as Renton Economy Department Store in 1950 by Issac Benveniste. Lucie, his daughter, purchased the store from her father in 1976 and changed the name to Renton Economy and Western Wear, focusing on that attire. After her father's death in 1980, the store's name was permanently changed to Renton Western Wear, according to the company's website. In 1986, Jerry, Lucie's son, became a partner and the third generation to operate the business. Gina, Jerry's sister, became a partner in 1989.

The Renton Reporter will continue to pursue details about the store closing.



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