After 60 years in business and various incarnations over the decades, Craig Beecroft of Virginia retailer Beecroft & Bull is proud to open a new store in Virginia Beach along with his namesake stores in Richmond and Charlottesville.
“It took me two months to decide whether or not to move the Virginia Beach store since we’d been in that location since 1979, expanding three times to a total of 4,200 square-feet,” says Craig. “I weighed a lot of factors but in the end, I was confident we’d retain our base while gaining new customers every day with the best location in Hilltop, formerly occupied by Dan Ryan (who deserves tremendous credit for the fabulous menswear business he ran for 41 years…). The new location is slightly smaller—3,600 square-feet–but it’s a more open design. Already, it’s proving to be a great move.”
Asked what’s hot for fall, Beecroft says his tailored business is strong (Canali, Samuelsohn, Isaia, etc.), admitting of course that the beach location does less clothing business than the other two stores. “I was recently at Pitti Uomo for the first time in years and was totally inspired by all the accessories. So, I’m filling in my mix with interesting belts, bags, boots, beautiful luggage, cool jewelry—unusual pieces to keep customers in the store longer.”
Asked for the store’s longevity secret, Beecroft doesn’t hesitate. “It’s the taste level, values and work ethic my parents put in place 60 years ago that passed down to me and my brother Bryan,” he explains. “My parents were a fantastic team: they got together in 1956 when Dad opened his first store in Tallahassee and Mom was a student at FSU (she had been dating Burt Reynolds!) My dad was always a natty dresser from his law school days at UVA; my mom was beautiful, stylish, dynamic and smart. As a team, there was no stopping them: both had charm, charisma and huge personalities. My dad was the visionary, the outside guy, and my mom—the voice of caution. (We used to call her “the eraser” because she’d look at the numbers and correct his buy.) They were both so ambitious, so eager to grow the business, so full of grit! Everything we are now is thanks to Moss and Frances Beecroft.”