After operating in Massachusetts and Connecticut for 39 years, the Lyn Evans network of six women’s clothing stores was shuttered in July 2017. Within weeks of learning of the closure, retailer Charlie White of Cohasset decided to invest in the brand.
To date, White has reopened three former locations, including 29 Main St. in Concord. Among the employees who have stayed on is buyer Jenn Shotkus, whose parents Stan and the late Linda Shotkus founded, owned, and managed Lyn Evans. White gave this interview.
Q. Why did you want to reinvigorate Lyn Evans?
A. I was inspired to maintain the brand because literally three generations of families are clients of Lyn Evans. Regardless of age, lifestyle, or personal aesthetic, there always has been something for everyone who shops here. Equally important for me, I recognize how much the Shotkus family invested in the communities where their stores were located, always finding ways to give back to neighborhood institutions and charities.
Q. How will you continue that tradition?
A. I was fortunate to retain a number of great employees who already had [community service] as part of their thinking. The minute I introduced myself, they were quick to say, ‘Let us tell you about all these charity events we’ve got lined up.’ I personally like the idea of supporting the communities in which we work. It also helps us in the long run by getting our name out there.
Q. How meaningful is having Jenn Shotkus as part of your team?
A. It’s fantastic. Jenn is excited about a new iteration of the company that her parents started. She brings product knowledge that complements my marketing experience, and enjoys having the opportunity to approach things slightly differently while building on her parents’ legacy. It’s a great fit all around.
Q. What changes can customers expect?
A. We’ve got some of the same manufacturers, but we’re also embracing some new vendors that I think customers will love. Aesthetically speaking, the space used to be heavily propped with antiques. The store is less crowded now, with more emphasis on the merchandise. For my part, I’m focusing on leveraging direct marketing and growing the e-commerce business. We haven’t even scratched the surface in those areas.
Q. What feedback have you received since reopening?
A. The Concord store was a shopping destination for 25 years, so customers are thrilled to have us back. I’ve literally seen a few women cry when they come in, which surprised me. Now that’s an emotional welcome!
For more information, visit lynevans.com.
Cindy Cantrell may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.