Karen and Doug McPherson are retiring after 35 years of running Grant King Menswear in downtown Penticton. The store will be closing later this fall after more than 80 years of service. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)

Penticton business icon closing doors after 80 years

The owners of Grant King Menswear are retiring after 35 years

By Brennan Phillips

Western News Staff

It’s been a long run, but Grant King Menswear in Penticton is closing its doors this fall after 80 years.

For third generation owners Doug and Karen McPherson, they are finally getting a break albeit they will miss the many customers who have developed into friends over the years.

“We’re really looking forward to a Christmas where we get more than one day off. For 35 years we’ve worked Christmas Eve and we’ve worked Boxing Day, and now it’s time for family there,” said Karen.

“I’m so excited to have family time, we have a one-year-old granddaughter and another grandchild on the way, and we’re just so excited to spend some family time with them at Christmas,” said Doug. “And the rest of the year too, but Christmas is the short-term goal.”

Grant King Menswear was open for 80 years, and the building has been in the family for even longer. Doug’s grandfather owned the location as far back as the 1920s. Grant King set up shop in 1939, and took on Doug’s father Stan as an apprentice in 1947, before eventually passing the business along to Stan in 1973. Through all that time, the business has been involved in Penticton.

“It was the tradition of Mr. King, and my dad, to be big community supporters, which we have always been,” said Doug. “We always think of the 300 Block as the key to downtown, and of course this takes up a big piece of that.”

“Over the years, either Doug’s been on a board, or I’ve been on a board, and we’ve donated a lot of time and energy to the community as well,” said Karen. “There’s a lot of great people, and we love it here. It was a big decision, and big decisions are never easy to make.”

The customers and friends that the McPhersons have made over their years have come from Penticton and beyond, with customers from as far as Prince George, Edmonton and Vancouver choosing Grant King as their go-to store. Part of the decision to close was due to the McPherson’s not being able to find someone who could take over the business and run it with the standards and selection that their customers know and deserve.

It’s those customers that the McPhersons are going to miss the most.

“Definitely the customer interaction for sure,” said Karen. “A lot of them have become friends, and you can’t go anywhere without running into someone and spending some time talking. We’re going to miss them.”

“It’s certainly mixed emotions, to be retiring,” said Doug. “On the other hand, you can imagine our customer base that we’ve acquired over the years, that we see on a day-to-day basis, and that will be a huge change. Someone said to me earlier, ‘Retirement is a bit of a vacuum,’ and I can see that, because we’re just so used to the socialization that goes on every day from when you come in the door.”

There is no set date for the final closing of the store, and every item is on sale until that time.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


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