A couple of Western wear landmarks in Fort Worth are undergoing changes. They do, however, want to make it clear they are still around, albeit in a different capacity.
Luskey’s/Ryon Western Store at 2601 N. Main St. is now Cavender’s, having been sold to that major chain. M.L. Leddy’s is closing its Sundance Square Leddy’s Ranch store downtown and consolidating to its Stockyards store.
“As a fourth-generation business, we have always run our stores as a family,” said Wilson Franklin, M.L. Leddy’s grandson.
Franklin noted that while Sundance Square served the business well for 13 years, exposing the brand to clientele from all over the world, the time is right to bring all of their Cowtown connections back to the Stockyards.
“The consolidation will allow us to offer everyone who visits M.L. Leddy’s a truly unique, personalized shopping experience,” said company spokesman Jerry Murray.
“There is a synergy we are cultivating by bringing together the different styles of the two stores,” said Martha Franklin, co-owner and wife of Wilson. “The buyers at Leddy’s Ranch built a brand around an ever-evolving modern Western look that blended beautiful, innovative lines with layers of unique accessories and flourishes.
“This, combined with the tradition and distinction of our Stockyards location, will enable us to offer everyone who visits a truly personalized shopping experience.”
Dec. 31 will be the last day of operation for Leddy’s Ranch, Murray said. The consolidation will have no effect on the store in San Angelo, which has been open since 1936.
M.L. Leddy’s was established in 1922 in the ranch lands and oil fields of West Texas. The first Fort Worth store opened in 1941 at North Main Street and Exchange Avenue, where the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District is today.
Murray said that while the company is consolidating in Fort Worth, there is always the possibility of expanding again in the Metroplex.
“We are always open to expansion opportunities, as long as those opportunities are well-aligned with our brand,” he said.
Luskey’s, a name synonymous with Fort Worth since 1919, has merged with another legendary name in the Western wear industry. The store at 2601 N. Main St. in the Stockyards has been sold to Cavender’s, a company based in Tyler that has nearly 75 stores, including eight in the Metroplex.
“We have always been good friends with the Cavender family. We had discussed a merger with them numerous times, and we both decided it was the right time and beneficial for both families,” said Mike Luskey, who was co-owner of Luskey’s with cousin Alan Luskey.
“Alan and I will be here managing the store. It is a great marriage between two great names in our industry.”
In 1982 Luskey’s bought neighboring Ryon’s Saddle Shop, which was included in the merger. That Stockyards location was the last one remaining for the family business that once included stores in Midland-Odessa, Amarillo and Abilene.
Remodeling will continue for several weeks. The life-size horse statues that stood on the roof over the entrances have been replaced with boot structures. However, the mural with a Western theme that covers one side of the building will remain, Mike Luskey said.
“They [the boots] will become icons in the Stockyards, the same way the horses did,” he said. “The Cavenders plan on renovating the mural, so it isn’t going anywhere that we know of.”
Likewise, Luskey said that keeping current employees was an important part of the merger.
“Our employees have always been family to us,” he said. “The Cavenders were very receptive to retaining good, hard-working people. They interviewed them and were impressed with the people we had. Furthermore, it was important to us to make sure they were included.
“Our family has been in the retail business in Fort Worth for over 97 years. We built a great reputation over the years. The store name is gone, but the name will remain as part of the product mix within Cavender’s. They will retain the name for some of the custom high-end merchandise.
“They very well recognize the value and quality associated with the Luskey’s name.”