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The Buckle maintains its spot in the fashion world
It started with a single store and a dream. 60 years later it has become a big name in the fashion world. News 5's Josh Egbert shows us how the Buckle went from the bricks in Kearney to a fashion powerhouse.
When you think fashion you think New York. Paris. Milan. But how about Kearney, Nebraska?
"Back in 1948 the Hirschfeld family purchased a clothing store. It was a traditional men's clothing store called Mills Clothing," said Lori Cody.
20 years later the store started to evolve.
"In 1967, they purchased a second store and then it was in the early 70's that they started to transition into what we're known as today as America's favorite denim destination," Cody said.
In 1970 a women's store was added.
"They really realized they needed to serve the women in the community too, so they opened a women's store, so it was Brass Buckle for guys on one side of the street and Brass Buckle of gals on the other," Cody said.
Besides for the fashion, the name of the store has also changed with time.
"Brass Buckle back then really fit the environment in the store, but then as things progressed and times changed they just evolved and felt like it needed to be a little big simpler so they changed to The Buckle," said Cody.
And evolved they have. The company's success through the years has provided opportunities to work with some of the hottest clothing brands.
"We're very connected to the fashion industry so they're talking to the brands, they're talking to the vendors, they're shopping the market," said Cody.
The Buckle now has over 400 stores in 41 states all while staying headquartered in Kearney.
"Kearney is almost about one of the closest places you can get to the center of the United States so for a distribution center it's great," said Cody.
That new distribution center keeps busy, thanks in large part to technology, which has taken the store to places they otherwise couldn't reach.
"That's the great thing about the internet is that it has allowed us to open our doors in other countries too," said Cody.
And it's not just doors to other countries they're opening.
"After my four years in college, I graduated with a biology degree and I just couldn't find anything that I wanted to do or could see myself doing with that degree," said Kearney store manager Kasha Johnson.
The company has a management training program for those employees who want to pursue a career with the Buckle.
"The next step for me would be an area manager and then after that I could be a district manager so there's definitely no limits with that," Johnson said.
Through the changes in fashion and retail one thing at the Buckle has remained constant, their mission.
"To create the most enjoyable shopping experience possible for our guests," said Cody.
The company will keep expanding in 2013. The 13 new stores are slated to open.
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