Pockets in Dallas to close in May

by Harry Sheff

DALLAS—On the heels of his second best year ever, David Smith is closing Pockets, his 39-year-old better men’s specialty store in Dallas, Texas. Smith has sold the store and its lease to Zegna, which plans to reopen that space as a Zegna store in November. The reason for the move, Smith said, was soaring leases.

“When I signed my lease it was affordable but I knew I couldn’t re-up—it was going to be too high,” Smith said. “Zegna knew that and offered me a buy-out that was arranged with the landlords. Last year was our second best year, but it was either do this now or do it a year from now. It’s a good exit strategy for me.”

The 4,200 sq. ft. Pockets did $5 million in volume before the recession. Key vendors included Ermenegildo Zegna, Canali, Luciano Barbera, Zanella and John Varvatos.

“Zegna has been wanting a store in Dallas for some time,” said Smith, who has carried the Italian brand since 1983. “They like our spot in Highland Park Village, a sort of Rodeo Drive full of international brands like Hermes and Gucci.”

Pockets will close its doors in May. Smith will be working with Zegna a few days a week for six months to help with the transition.

“All things have to end,” Smith said. “I’m 65 and to spend a million bucks to build it out in another location just didn’t make sense to me. Fortunately, I can retire, financially. The hardest part is that my customers and vendors were almost like family. I couldn’t think of a better industry to be in.”

Asked what he would do in retirement, Smith said he planned to get to know his eight grandchildren better.