• Leader & Times
A new Tractor Supply store location in Liberal was recently announced and another store also announced it would be expanding its presence into Liberal.
Glik’s, which carries high-fashion clothing, recently had an open interview session for its upcoming location in Liberal.
“We had expanded into Kansas in 2016 and we really like to bring high fashion to small town America and when you think of places in Kansas and think of communities not necessarily super small but not huge, you think of Hays, Emporia, both communities where we have stores, Liberal, and we’re also wanting to open in Dodge City and Garden City this year,” Glik’s Area Manager/Sales Trainer Chad Walton said. “So we’re really trying to expand to these smaller communities and drive who we are, which is bringing high fashion to small town America.”
The Glik’s company itself has been in business for 120 years, with Joseph Glik beginning by opening a small menswear store in 1897 in St. Louis, according to an information booklet about the company. Over the years, the company continued growing with multiple generations working, including son, Morris and other descendants, including current owner Jeff Glik.
“Glik’s reputation grew and families soon came from around the area to buy clothing on credit,” the booklet noted in a section discussing the Great Depression. “When the Depression hit, Morris’ careful investments allowed him to continue to offer credit terms to hard-pressed customers. This enabled the company to survives the Depression.”
And the Depression was not the only period of hard times the company saw, the booklet continued.
“The postwar era brought new challenges for Glik’s,” the booklet noted. “Morris’ widow, Elsie, ran the store for several years until her husband’s death in 1945. Their son, Joe, back from the Navy, took over the business and like his father before him, took a gamble on a new retail strategy, one that anticipated the changing living habits of the customer base. It was in 1954 when Joe opened a Glik’s store in a strip center in Granite City, Ill.”
The company continued growing throughout the 1970s to seven stores from Madison, Ill. to St. Louis and in the past few decades, more than 60 stores have been opened in many states including Michigan, Wisconsin and South Dakota, among many others, all the while maintaining ownership within the Glik family. That family ownership and community involvement, Walton said, is part of what makes the expansion into Liberal exciting.
“We’re very involved with the community, we like to be involved in all the different activities that take place because we are family-owned, so we want to be involved and have our name out there,” Walton said. “We want people to come to our store because of that, we’re not just a big corporation, we are family-owned and we want people to know that.”
“I think it’s always exciting for us to span across the whole state and for us to be more centrally located so people don’t have to travel so much,” Molly Skeen, the Glik’s store manager in Hays, said. “As store manager, it’s exciting for me because we get to elevate new staffs and establish ourselves in this part of the state.”
Walton added the store is looking to be open in March and added even more expansion is being talked about.
“It’s a quick turnaround for us, but we’re definitely excited and ready to be in town,” Walton said. “We’re still doing site visits, we want to continue to expand. Like I said earlier, in 2016 was when we expanded into Kansas and then we expanded into Nebraska this past year too. We have been in business for 120 years and we’re the 14th oldest regional company in the U.S. We’re excited to bring who we are here.”
Walton also talked about some of the brands the store will be carrying, including Patagonia and NorthFace and added the Liberal location is currently looking for employees at all levels from sales associates to store managers.
“We definitely have something for everyone, there’s not an age limit on our clothes. We really want to drive how there’s something for everyone, so come out and see us,” Walton said. “We are looking for staff, and it’s really important we find the right people to help us drive this business forward. We need a store manager, assistant manager, sales assistants, pretty much a full staff. With our company, you’re definitely a name and not a number because we are a smaller company. This will be our 65th store and we’re extremely excited.”