Growing up in the family clothing shop on Thunder Bay’s South Side has left Andrew Moro with a strong sense of being part of something bigger than himself. Maybe it’s because he works in a business where he talks with real people every day – the people who work and live in TBay, and whose patronage is directly responsible for his family’s living at JB Evans – that he sees himself as part of a community, with a responsibility to contribute.
As we’ve done with the other TBay businesses we’ve interviewed lately, we talked with Andrew and his dad Jack about the taxes the family pays into City coffers for their building, the ten jobs the store supports and a substantial list of their charitable good deeds and donations. What we loved the most about our conversation was Jack and Andrew’s unwillingness to name names when it came to other businesses they shop with and who shop them. There’s a reason for that: once they got started, they’d have a hard time stopping. They have customers connected to almost any TBay business you could name.
Because people from so many TBay businesses shop with them, they’re never short of local options and deliberately share their own business around. It’s a fantastic synergy that works on more than the economic level: connected as they are to the people who shop with them and the places they work, they’re incredibly tuned-in to what we like here in TBay and are constantly flexing to accommodate.
But they will never compete with the big online retailers: this isn’t what they do. Small businesses like JB Evans purchase all their inventory up front, making keeping a huge inventory risky and cumbersome. Instead, they focus on carefully-selected clothing in a mix of prices from mid-range to upscale, helping their patrons choose well and ensuring long-term satisfaction with their purchases. This is the kind of place where you find the go-to pants that wear beautifully, the shoes you don’t want to take off, the favourite sweater that lasts fifteen years.
Although you can’t try on items outside of business hours, JB Evans has begun offering selected merchandise for sale online. Visit their website and browse to your heart’s content; purchases can be tried on or picked up instore on the next business day or even delivered!