Clothing store owner got his start at Alexander’s in Oxford
For Keith Kinkade, owning and operating a men’s clothing store is as much about maintaining friendships as it is about offering quality men’s clothing.
“It’s really about making friends,” Kinkade said. “If it’s just about making a sale — that’s a place a business should never be.”
Kinkade first learned the importance of building and maintaining relationships with customers during the four years he worked at Alexander’s in Oxford while attending the University of Mississippi.
After college, he took a job at a computer company in Louisiana, but hated it. He soon found himself back in the men’s clothing business, working at The Rogue Men’s Store in Jackson.
He gained further experience there, working for 12 years as a merchandiser and buyer and three years as an owner.
By then, Kinkade was more than certain that the men’s clothing industry would be his career of choice.
In 2008, he and his wife, Missy, opened Kinkade’s Fine Clothing in Ridgeland.
“Besides marrying my wife and having our children, it was the best decision I’ve made,” Kinkade said. “It was truly the fulfillment of a lifelong dream, and it’s a family business that my sons will hopefully continue.”
Familial relationships are key at Kinkade’s, he said, noting that employees make an effort to get to know their clients.
“We’re a smaller, more intimate store,” he said. “We get to meet our customer’s kids, and we always try to be very welcoming. It can be intimidating to walk into bigger stores, but here we ask you to have a seat and ask if we can get you a soda or anything.”
The design and layout of the store is aimed at putting customers at ease.
Growing up in Houston, Kinkade said he was awed by the small town feel he experienced in Oxford.
“I loved that small town feeling of walking into a restaurant and knowing almost everyone there,” he said. “You don’t get that in a big city, and we want some of that feeling here.”
And the feeling is not merely manufactured, either.
“We’re really entrenched in the community,” he said. “We live here, go to church here and work here.”
Kinkade said that while Kinkade’s is a men’s store, workers often meet their clients’ wives.
“Girls and ladies have much input on what guys should and should not wear,” he said. “I would say between 60 and 70 percent of all men’s sales are effected somehow by women – whether it’s their wife coming in to pick it up or just giving their opinion about what looks good.”
Kinkade’s Fine Clothing offers brands including Coppley, Cole Hahn, Johnston & Murphy Shoes, S. Cohen, Ballin Trousers and Tommy Bahama. But Kinkade said the store is constantly adding to the product mix.
“We try to really know what our customers like and what they don’t like,” he said. “If we don’t, we won’t be in business long.”
That’s why it is important that customers feel comfortable in Kinkade’s clothing.
“We go to market in New York, Dallas and Las Vegas,” he said. “We are always looking for what best fits our customers’ needs and desires.”
From “socks to topcoats,” Kinkade offers it all, the owner said.
“We try to be a one-stop shop for all their needs. We offer classic, traditional styles for our customers,” he said. “Styles may come and go but great taste lasts forever. We provide our customers with style, comfort and luxury at a reasonable price.”
Kinkade said the company is committed to strengthening its brand and customer base while providing quality, integrity and excellence.
“We want to continue to cater to the growth and potential we see in the Jackson area as well as cultivate customers who live in the metro Jackson area,” he said.