For more than 60 years, Malouf’s has sourced quality merchandise from around the world for its customers residing deep in the heart of Texas. Once only catering to men, the store expanded its merchandise mix in the ’80s to include women’s fashion, and customers now range from high school students to older clientele. Stocking everything from Texas staples like Old Gringo to popular picks like Cole Haan, Mephisto, Ugg and Tory Burch, women’s shoe buyer Kelly Wimberly notes that riding boots are a perennial favorite among all ages. As for the political leanings of Malouf’s clientele, Wimberly says red is the primary color but, personally, she isn’t sold on the current crop of Republican hopefuls: “There’s nobody standing out for me.”
What are your front-running brands this season?
Tory Burch, Lisa for Donald J Pliner and Mephisto.
Best new candidate added to your store’s mix in the past year?
Lisa for Donald J Pliner.
What is your dark horse brand for 2012?
Alberto Fermani from Italy. No one else in Lubbock carries the brand.
What are your top-selling accessories?
Tory Burch handbags and small leather goods have sold very well. Longchamp, particularly the Pliage, and several of its leather handbags have done well.
Have there been any brands, trends or colors that have plummeted in the polls?
Animal prints didn’t do as well as we had expected.
Is there anything you’re nervous about this season?
Pink handbags have never sold well and there are a lot of them around for Spring ’12.
What do you feel is the biggest issue of this current presidential campaign?
To get the economy back on track.
Is your business better off than it was four years ago?
I think the recession has declined a little bit from 2008, but we’ve stayed on trend. We’re probably up about 3 to 4 percent this year.
Would a change in leadership be better or worse for Malouf’s?
I think it would be better. The Democrats focus more on big government and taxes, and the Republicans are more into business, which helps the economy and opens up jobs.