75 years and three generations later, Larrimor’s still upholds the reputation as Pittsburgh’s esteemed upscale men and women’s clothing store. Drawing on the strength of a loving and supportive family and historical adaptability, some of the highlights of the past 75 years include: enduring success through a world war resulting in the scarcity of resources, recognizing the innovation of fabrics, and addressing the need to provide a professional wardrobe to the growing number of women in the workforce. With the perpetual change in economic and social conditions, what has remained constant in the culture of this business? The answer to that is simple. It is their commitment to quality and value – a commitment that goes above and beyond the merchandise itself and extends to the quality of personal relationships and the value of its customers and designers.
But with success come struggle, and navigating through decades of change means an array challenges. When asked about the most challenging memory the company has faced, family members universally agree that it is staying focused in an economic downturn. For Larrimor’s, this means consistently serving the community with exceptional customer service and high end products.
“Regardless of what kind of business you’re in – remember your customer. Without them, you don’t have a business,” says co-owner Carl Slesinger. “Stay focused on where they are headed so that you can always remain a resource to them.”
Although highly praised for their incomparable customer service, there is a certain business acumen that is generated behind the scenes that keeps Larrimor’s profitable in the best and worst of times. “One: take care of your people like they are your family and two: run your business like it’s a business and not a family,” says Lisa Slesinger, a co-owner and Head Buyer adding, “They sound contradictory but they really aren’t because you want people who you work with to treat other people the way you’re treating them. It creates warmth, communication, and a sense of rapport.”
It certainly appears that with Larrimor’s winning customer service philosophy and tactical financial strategy, they have found a formula for success that has endured for 75 years. But the overarching element that serves as the glue to the business, according to co-owner Thomas D. Michael is the “love, dignity, and respect” given and ultimately reciprocated throughout the community.