Schulman's Keeps Customers Happy with Old-Fashion Service

By Bob Peters
December 14, 2012

Steve and Patty Ostler - Schulman's - Cornwall OntarioCornwall Ontario - Fashions come and go, but good customer service is timeless and always in demand. Schulman’s is a 3700 square foot emporium for men’s and ladies clothing in Downtown Cornwall.  It has weathered many different fashion and retail trends for over 80 years by providing good old fashioned personalized service and value to its customers.

The original store was opened in the early 1930’s by Moe Schulman who arrived in Cornwall, by way of Montreal, from Austria.  He had worked for a few years as a manufacturer’s sales representative after coming to Canada, and eventually settled in Cornwall to open his own clothing store.

Moe sold the store in 1976 to his longtime employee Doug Ostler. Mr. Ostler was soon was joined by his son Steve who was looking for a career change at the time.  Today Steve runs the store with his wife Patty and a knowledgeable sales staff, offering a broad cross section of branded men’s and ladies wear.

“This business has a history and we have a loyal following of customers from all over eastern Ontario,” says Steve. “The only constant is change, and we continue to succeed by remaining relevant to our customers.”

Knowing who your customer is, and what that customer wants is so important in today’s competitive world.

Steve’s original attraction to retail was the interaction with people.  He has seen and experienced a lot over four decades in retail, and only stops to wonder what he and Patty are going to see next.  Ten years ago he saw an opportunity to grow the business by introducing ladies wear into the store and convinced Patty to become more involved in the business - that expansion forced them to find a more spacious location where the shop is currently located.

“Offering good value is important,” says Steve.  “We’re big on buying Canadian made clothing wherever possible, and we expect consistent quality at a fair price from our suppliers.”

Steve and Patty constantly shop for new lines to complement their product mix and offer the type of service one can only find today in locally-owned and independent clothing stores.  They have a dedicated tailor and seamstress working for them and take pride in knowing their customers are leaving with clothes that fit well and have been properly altered and adjusted as required.

“You’ve got to like what you’re doing if you are going to be good at it,” says Steve.  “And yes, we love what we do.”

Steve and Patty are part of the close-knit community of merchants that have made shopping fun in Downtown Cornwall.

Steve is a past chairman of the Downtown BIA, and has sat on the board of the Chamber of Commerce as well as serving with the Rotary Club of Cornwall.  Steve and Patty participate each year in a fashion show supporting the local hospice.

“You can’t be in retail and not be involved in the community,” says Steve.

With the Christmas holidays in full swing, Steve and Patty and their staff are busy taking care of the needs of their customers.

“You have to be comfortable in the clothes you wear every day,” says Steve.  “Our job is to make sure you walk out the store with the right fit and the right look.”

That attitude towards doing business has allowed Schulman’s to evolve into a popular destination for ladies clothing.  The ladies section features an extensive offering from some of Canada’s leading fashion designers.

Schulman’s Tuxedos & Jeans is located at 212 Pitt Street in Downtown Cornwall.  The store is open 7 days a week during the Christmas shopping season.  You can reach the store at (613) 932-6202.


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Category: Business