ITHACA, NY -- Benjamin Peters owner, Peter Parkes has sold his store at 120 E State St. on the Commons to employee Sam Parlett as of Apr 1. Parkes, who bought the men’s clothing store back in 1994, is now retired.
Parlett began working at the store in 2013, serving as lead salesman and frequently choosing the seasonal selection of clothing.
“I started going to shows, picking out the styles and got really involved with that,” he said. “I just kind of fell in love with it, so I wanted to keep doing this as long as I could.”
Parlett said the store’s dedication to quality and service will remain the same but that some changes will be on the way to stay on top of current trends.
In the fall, the store will expand to women’s clothing featuring Smartwool and Patagonia. They will also be launching their own Benjamin Peters’ line of khakis. Parlett added that Benjamin Peters is now tailoring clothes that were bought online or at other stores.
He was also enthusiastic about a new custom suit program. Previously, Benjamin Peters exclusively tailored clothes from off the rack. Now they will be offering the ability to choose your own fabrics, colors and patterns among anything, making the process much more customizable.
“I’m going to keep trying to stay on top of the trends, but I think changing with the times is […] something we’ve always tried to do,” he said. “As much as I can, I just want to continue the legacy of what was here when I got here.”
Parlett said he plans to keep the Benjamin Peters’ store name which was named after the former owner and his first son, Benjamin Parkes.
“It means something in the community because people know us and they know our name and what we do,” he said.
Interestingly enough, Parkes bought the store when he was in his 30’s, just after the birth of his son. As chance would have it, Parlett is of similar age and also welcomed his first son into the world a year ago when he had just started discussions about purchasing the store.
“It was really just like their situation back in 1994,” he said. “They really got a kick out of that and so did we.”