After 80 years serving the South Okanagan, Grant King Men’s Wear will soon close its doors for good.
Owners Doug and Karen McPherson are gearing down for retirement after running the family business, a mainstay of the downtown Penticton business scene, for 35 years.
With an 11-month-old grandchild already and another due next month, the McPhersons are looking forward to quality family time – especially at Christmas.
But the couple said they’re also excited for the time they’ll be able to spend with customers – who have become lifelong friends – outside of the store.
“We have such an awesome customer base who, over the years, have become friends. There’s a lot of connection that way,” said Karen.
“The hardest part (will be) missing people,” said Doug.
“They’re friends,” he explained while fighting back tears.
“They always know where to find us though,” he added. “Always.”
The pair said the reaction to the planned closure from their customers over the past several weeks has been a mixture of congratulations and devastation.
“Others are like, ‘No! No! You can’t do that!’” said Doug.
While the store may be closing, McPherson said there’s no plan to sell the building, which has been in the family for approximately 100 years. At various points, the storefront served as an Overwaitea, a car dealership and garage, and a butcher’s shop.
The thought of selling the store was considered, the McPhersons said, but in the end the decision to close for good was the right one.
“If you’re going to sell the name, it’s got to be run very similar,” said Karen. “We weren’t interested in putting it out on the market and letting just anybody run it. So we figured it was the best to just let her go.”
It’s bittersweet, the pair agreed, but they were happy to see the store hit 80 years this past June.
“We made it!” said Karen.
The store’s namesake opened it in 1939, and sold it to Doug’s father, Stan, in 1973 after Stan completed a long apprenticeship.
“The Grant King name had been operating for several years here and I just thought we should just leave it,” Stan told The Herald previously. “It worked out really well, actually.”