Kaufman's Tall & Big shop hits 60-year mark

Belief in customer service persists from standards set by founder

Posted 8/27/18

Fred Kaufman had a thriving men's traditional clothing store in Englewood when he learned from customers of the apparel needs of big and tall men and opted to have his store meet those needs — …

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Kaufman's Tall & Big shop hits 60-year mark

Belief in customer service persists from standards set by founder

Posted

Fred Kaufman had a thriving men's traditional clothing store in Englewood when he learned from customers of the apparel needs of big and tall men and opted to have his store meet those needs — creating Kaufman's Tall & Big Shop, a landmark at 3395 S. Broadway.

Sam Kaufman joined his dad in the business and they worked side by side until Fred passed away 2010. His son now runs the business and he continues the tradition of personal service for every customer.

“Dad said he served a lot of customers at his original men's wear store, but when he learned that big and tall men in the area had only a limited choice of apparel he decided to take on that challenge,” Sam Kaufman said. “He cleared out his traditional inventory and ordered an inventory of clothing to meet the needs of big and tall customers. He opened the big and tall men's store in 1958 and was the first of its kind in the area and one of only a few big and tall men's stores in the country.”

He said his dad was not only ran the store, he was active in a variety of areas of the community.

“Dad sad Troy Bledsoe, then coach of the University of Denver basketball team, was a customer and Bledsoe got Dad involved with football and basketball in the area,” Sam Kaufman said. “He helped start the American Basketball Association that began in 1976. He also was on the board of directors for the Denver Rockets that when they joined the ABA became the Denver Nuggets.”

Kaufman said his dad was invited to move his store into the Cinderella City Shopping Center when it opened in Englewood in 1968 but declined. He did eventually move the South Broadway store across the street to its present location

“Dad said he didn't want to abide by mall rules like the hours the shop could be open,” Kaufman said. “I guess that was because Dad believed in customer service. If a customer called and said he would not be able to get to the shop during normal business hours, Dad would keep the shop open. It was just another example of his belief in customer service.”

He said his dad felt you can sell something to a customer one time but the challenge is to provide the service that will convince customers to return to your store.

He said an example of service to the customer was his dad working with actor Raymond Burr.

“Raymond Burr was a big man and a regular customer,” Kauffman said. “Dad said one of his complaints was he couldn't get ties long enough so they could be tied properly and look good. Dad said Burr asked for ties 64 inches long. Dad ordered several dozen ties in different patterns. When they came in Burr said he really wanted ties 66 inches long. Dad said OK and spent the time to take material from one of the ties and lengthen the others. Burr was satisfied and accepted the ties but may never have known how they were adjusted to meet his requirements.

Sam Kaufman went to college at Colorado State University and wanted to join his dad in the business.

“Dad initially said no,” Kaufman said. “I kept asking him to join the business and finally he said yes but said he would let me work in the store for five years. I guess I worked out because I am still here.”

He said he is at the store as often as his schedule permits, because he spends a lot of his time at home where it is quiet and he can work on the computer he uses to check out the clothing that is available to meet the needs of his customers.

“Kaufman's is a small business and we thank all those who shop here and keep us in business,” he said. “We also encourage everyone to look for the small businesses like ours in their community and support those businesses. The people who run those businesses are your neighbors and can only continue in business with the support of the people of the community.”

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