FARGO-After an 10-month absence, a clothing store with a 136-year history of doing business in North Dakota will re-open in Fargo.
Straus for Men, formerly known as Straus Clothing, is slated to open mid-November in a strip mall anchored by a new Crown Jewels store at 4487 Calico Drive.
The business is owned by Chad Herring and his wife, Dorene. Herring is the stepson of John Stern and will be the fifth generation of the family to own the store.
At one time, Straus Clothing stores were located in Sanborn, Valley City, LaMoure, Carrington, Grand Forks, Jamestown, Devils Lake and Fargo. John and his brother, Rick Stern, retired and closed the last remaining store at 3223 13th Ave. S., Fargo, in January.
Stern said he was pleased Herring wanted to revive the business.
"Stores like ours are not very sellable unless it's to the next generation. Our own kids all had good jobs and weren't interested in coming back and taking over, so to have a stepson express an interest, well, we are thrilled," he said.
Herring isn't new to the business. When he was in his 20s, he worked at the Straus store in West Acres. He eventually left the area and had a successful career in web development, business administration and human resources, but he started to do some soul searching when the company he was working for in Nashville was sold last year.
"I looked around at what it was that I really enjoyed doing over the last 25 years of my professional career and I kept thinking back to how much fun I had when I worked at Straus in my early 20s," he said.
Herring said he will carry on the Straus tradition of selling high-quality menswear, but he also has a few new ideas meant to attract a younger demographic.
"We'll carry some more brands that are geared toward young professionals and millennials. John jokingly used to say their demographic was 45 to dead and we're going to be concentrating on probably the 30- to 55-, 60-year-old," Herring said.
The store will carry traditional brands such as Coppley, S. Cohen, Enro and Ballin, as well as a few younger lines such as 34 Heritage, True Grit and 7 Diamonds.
Herring also plans to sell irreverent books, greeting cards, personal care products and a variety of leather items.
Stern said he's impressed with the changes Herring is making and expects he'll do well.
"He's a pretty bright guy. He has very strong merchandise and marketing sense," he said. "The whole secret is going to be customer service, as it's always been. You can buy pretty much anything you want on the internet, but you can't get the kind of service there that a one-on-one relationship will give you."
What: Straus for Men (opening mid-November)
Where: 4487 Calico Drive, Fargo