The odds of an independent specialty store making it to the century mark are slim indeed. But Jim and Rick Penn of Puritan Cape Cod have much to be proud of.
Grandsons of Puritan founder Abe Penn (who outfitted the Chatham Coast Guard back in the day and believed strongly in “earning the relationship”), these two guys have retailing in their blood. They’ve also made some very smart moves over the years: adding stores in the right locations (both Puritan and Vineyard Vines), investing in frequent renovations, specializing in ski rentals and apparel to balance their strong summer tourist business, adding women’s apparel and gifts, opening two restaurants and a day spa/salon, staying on top of emerging brands, relying on seasoned merchants (like Bob Harrison who’s been with the store longer than Rick and Jim!), partnering with key vendors and treating their employees like family (many have worked there for decades).
So, the outpouring of love in the room last week as vendors, customers, and friends gathered at the Hyannis store to celebrate 100 years was no surprise to anyone. The crowd enjoyed champagne, incredible oysters, fine wine and fabulous food, all while toasting the family that values friendship as much as fashion. Proceeds from the Speakeasy went to Cape Cod Healthcare; sponsors were Vineyard Vines, Eileen Fisher, Patagonia, Peter Millar, AG, Barbour, Johnnie-O, Lafayette 148, AG, Samuelsohn, Tommy Bahama, Trask, and Vince.
Asked about the future, the Penn’s seem confident. “Average is over!” Jim declares. “Our stores have to be exciting, well-merchandised, and a place where customers do business with friends. We continue to look at new and innovative ways to grow.”