There have been some dramatic changes around Atlantic City, New Jersey in recent years, but the Landsman store in Ventnor has been a retail landmark in the area for over six decades.
Originally established in 1932 by William Landsman as a general department store selling everything from clothing and household goods to sewing notions and bedding, it is today known as Landsman Uniforms, Inc., located at 4450 Black Horse Pike, Suite 3958 Mays Landing, NJ 08330.
Three generations of Landsmans have successfully adapted to the many changes in merchandising that have taken place over the past sixty years. During the same period they have relied upon the family tradition of attention to personal service, quality merchandise, quick delivery and creative problem solving.
By recognizing that the emergence of the large scale discount store would negatively impact their business in the late 1950s, Landsman's met the changing complexion of retail sales by evolving into a menswear shop, carrying Woolrich sweaters, athletic shoes, jeans and pants.
At about the same time, William's son, Max and his wife Cissy, were ready to branch out and in 1962 they started Landsman Uniforms operating out of their home. This new business venture did not stop the busy twosome from fulfilling their job responsibilities at the department store, nor did it hamper them in raising five children, one of whom is presently active in the business. In fact, Janet Smith, Max and Cissy's daughter, who runs Landsman Uniforms along with her husband, Dennis, can remember opening packages of uniform shirts for this 'cottage" industry at the advanced age of six.
Max and Cissy's home enterprise soon outgrew its cramped quarters so they moved the uniform operation to the back of the department store. The timing couldn't have been more ideal. As the menswear business waned and the uniform business flourished, it was only natural for Landsman Uniforms to take over the entire store. William Landsman retired at the age of 85 and today, Landsman Uniforms continues to thrive in Atlantic County.
Our store carries a wide array of uniforms and accessories, including police, fire, security, medical, correctional, restaurant and career apparel. The Ventnor store's close proximity to Atlantic City provided the Landsmans with an incredible sales opportunity with the introduction of gambling. They cultivated the casino business and, for the past fourteen years, have enjoyed an ongoing, mutually beneficial relationship with the casinos, supplying this industry's diverse uniform and career apparel.
Aside from the wide variety of merchandise and many years of experience upon which to draw, Landsman Uniforms maintains its sales advantage by offering same day alterations, on-premises monogramming, screen printing, computerized engraving and heat sealing capabilities.
Janet Smith strongly emphasizes the importance of having imprintable technology on hand. She says, "If I had to guess, I would say that 9 out of every 10 garments we sell are customized in some way." Needless to say, this in-house service is a major selling point for us, since we can handle most custom work on a while-you-wait basis. We employ two full-time alteration and embroidery people to accommodate the volume and can design custom logos at the store.
"We have always prided ourselves on fast, personalized service with the continuity of an on-premises owner who knows the account intimately. We offer the inventory of a large business with the personal touch of a family owned and operated establishment. It is the same formula used by ay grandfather, father and mother and it works as well today as it did sixty years ago."
Landsman Uniforms maintains an national 800 number in an effort to facilitate service, especially for their casino and industrial uniform accounts.
So, 70 years and three generations later, Landsman Uniforms has grown, changed with the times and stayed attuned to the needs of the community around them. It is a combination that has certainly spelled good fortune for this entrepreneurial family and one that should serve them well for years to come.
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