The Collegiate Shoppe is celebrating their 82nd anniversary this year.
Bailey Gant, son of Jean Gant, currently owns and operates the downtown location on the south side of the plaza in downtown Paris. Ms. Gant’s father, George Serur, founded the shop in 1936 along with 11 other locations throughout Texas.
Today, Paris is the only location that remains in the family.
The Collegiate Shoppe has something to offer for everyone. Whether it’s a special occasion or simply a night out, they have a variety of collections to fit your fashion needs!
The Collegiate Shoppe has been a Chamber member for coming up on 67 years.
Lamar County Chamber of Commerce president, Paul Allen, was able to sit down with Bailey and talk about this longstanding downtown business.
Generations of people have walked through these doors. There has been a sense of trust and loyalty with the Collegiate Shoppe that has developed over several years with many customers. The history is shown in pictures on the wall behind the counter. How Jean felt watching her Dad open and manage several stores, and then Bailey watching Jean continue to follow in her Dads footsteps. Bailey took the reigns over in 2010 and the family tradition continues to be a part of Paris, Texas. There are loyal customers that come in on a regular basis, some just to buy clothes from Jean, who still works a couple of days a week. Times have changed over the years and so has the Collegiate Shoppe, but one thing remains customer satisfaction.
Local shopping used to be so evident, going from store to store on a Saturday. Things now are so internet driven. The Collegiate Shoppe has its own website and you can purchase clothing online. The use of Social Media has changed the marketing game as well. Those changes create new opportunities to reach customers that wasn’t even possible a few years ago. It’s great to see those dedicated customers come in on a regular basis, but it’s also great to see those new faces that may be walking in for the first time. Yes, times may have changed, but the quality service given to its customers by a locally owned family business is still there.
There are currently 4 employees at the Collegiate Shoppe. That number has fluctuated over the years depending on the times and the season. One employee takes care of the online portion which is so different than the way it used to be. We must continue to change what’s on our website to keep it fresh and up to date.
Over the years, late night calls for help for families that had a specific need would be taken care of because it is a business that cares about its community and its customers. Relationships have been built and continue to grow just like other long-time businesses that are so important to our community.
When asked about their downtown location, Bailey stated: “I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.” On the matter of the future of the downtown area, “I would like to see other businesses make their way back down here. We have some great folks very close by and I would like to see that continue to grow.”
When asked about the value of being a Chamber Member, Bailey said, “Why wouldn’t I be? The Chamber provides The Collegiate Shoppe another avenue for growth in our community and a connection with other businesses.”
The Lamar County Chamber of Commerce would like to thank The Collegiate Shoppe for its membership of 67 years and its dedication to Lamar County.
Last modified: January 16, 2019