Ariat brings classy horsewear to town

GO WEST  Ariat, on the East and South, opens its third store in Gilroy’s outlets.

Buford “Bud” Davis, John Travolta’s character in the 1980 film Urban Cowboy would be home and looking cool, after shopping at the Ariat Outlet Store, a new western wear clothing store at the Gilroy Outlets. The outlet is a new endeavor for Ariat, a brand known for premium boots, equestrian sports wear and clothing with a hip, country flair, offering off-season goods at an appreciable discount. Now South Valley shoppers can find some of the same duds worn by modern day stars like Guardians of the Galaxy’s Chris Pratt and Kaley Cuoco from Big Bang Theory.

“Besides that Gilroy is near our corporate offices in Union City, Gilroy is home to a robust agricultural community and it made sense to make our first premium outlet store in Gilroy,” said Erica Hess, Public Relations Manager for Ariat International Inc. “We know that we have a bunch of customer awareness in the area but here we can introduce the brand to so many different people at great, outlet prices. With Gilroy and its agricultural roots, it seemed like a great fit.”
Co-owner and founder Beth Cross with Pam Parker started the Union City, California business in 1993, with the goal to make the highest quality footwear and apparel riders will ever wear, Hess said in an email. With locations in Fresno and Lexington, Kentucky the company has been active online and sells its products in many western wear stores. With a corner spot at the Gilroy Outlets, shoppers average a 30 to 50 percent discount or up 60 to 75 percent on specially marked items. Some styles will be sold exclusively at the outlet, but the majority of items are closeout or off-season inventory.
During the opening weekend starting on July 29, 2,500 customers came to the 3,200-square-foot showroom. Since then, it’s drawn 400 shoppers a day buying denim, woven shirts, belts, bags and English riding apparel, suitable for the Duke of Buckingham and his couturier. The name, Ariat comes from Secretariat, the Triple Crown winning thoroughbred of 1973.
“We approach all of our products with the idea of how we can make it better, whether you’re working on the farm or an athlete competing in the rodeo or equestrian event,” said Hess.
Ariat’s high end Two24 designer boots, made with Spanish and Mexican leather, which originally sold from $500 to $250 are available at a 50 percent discount. Woven shortsleeve shirts are as low as $32. The store is still looking for employees. Part timers can make between $12 to $14 and fulltime can make $14 to $16.
Open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m.-9 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. the store will have up to four full time employees and another six part time employees.