Long before 1974, Rich Brady liked to coordinate his outfits, but that year marked the opening of his Brady’s Menswear store at the Hotel del Coronado. Although the shop has moved several times, from locations in the lobby to varying storefronts downstairs, one thing is certain, Brady has a determination to keep making it a success. The new light, bright store, which opened on November 20, has a refined elegance that invites customers in to shop and pick up a new pair of shoes, cashmere sweater, or snazzy outfit.
When the pandemic shut down order was announced in March 2020, he had no idea how long it would last. When The Del closed, and construction for the masterplan ramped up, it became evident that he would need to find a creative solution to move forward. With a heavy heart and a store stocked full of inventory, it took his team and five men three days to pack everything up and place it in storage. Then he had an idea for a pop-up shop to help move inventory and he found a location next to Tartine on First Avenue, which he opened in July 2020. The first month’s sales were good, but tapered off as the summer wore on, and he closed it in September.
Brady’s was finally able to move back into The Del in October, albeit not under the best circumstances, first in a meeting room, then in a hallway, where they had to pack up the merchandise every night and put it out again each morning. “All these transitions were better than being closed, but it has not been great. I felt like it was better to do something to move inventory than nothing,” he comments.
Let’s face it ~ fashion trends change, and he has adapted through the years, but the pandemic has caused a huge disruption in the fashion industry. He has had to rethink what clothes and accessories he stocks as people’s attitudes on clothing have dramatically shifted. He now offers more sportswear, which has a broader appeal for tourists and locals alike.
One of the keys to his success is the outstanding customer service provided by his small, but mighty dedicated long-tenured employees – with Joanne Collins for 37 years and Baxter Boggus for 27 years, and newcomer of two and a half years Chris Zwart, as well as others through the years. Since 1974 Brady’s has attracted customers from all over the U.S. and the world. Connecting with every customer to make them feel special and look their best is his mantra, and it’s why people return to buy new pieces and update their wardrobes. Those connections turn into relationships, and Brady has a natural flair with customers, some of whom he calls legacy customers, having dressed them for decades. It puts a smile on his face when someone comes back and tells him they bought their coat in the shop 20 years ago.
When asked why he hasn’t gone to online sales, he says he never pivoted in that direction because of the high return rate, and more importantly the fact that his customers want to try on and touch the clothing and get recommendations. The latest version of Brady’s 1974 debuted just three weeks ago in its new home on the lower level of The Del and so far, people’s response to the vibe of the store has been extremely positive. He says it’s too early to tell how things will go, with so many unknowns still, but he’s cautiously optimistic. Brady’s is the only full-line quality clothing store in the hotel, while most others carry souvenirs and basic essential merchandise.
Sometimes people think that because he is located in The Del the prices will be exorbitant, but most items are reasonable, comparable to what Nordstrom charges. Brady’s carries quality brands like Max Davoli, Jack Victor, Fundamental Coast, Borgo, and Robert Graham, to name just a few of the popular, quality labels. They offer custom tailoring for an impeccable fit.
Brady’s has created a legacy offering distinguished clothing and superior customer service for men since 1974. This last year and a half has not been an easy road, but Brady has faced it with determination, and he is delighted to be in his new shop to welcome customers. There’s still time for holiday shopping at the new location on the lower level of The Del, seven days a week, from 9 am to 9 pm, with validated parking. Learn more at www.bradyshoteldelcoronado.com.