In March of 1979, Pearson's Luggage opened in Baton Rouge, and in October of the same year, Jerry and Lynn Pearson opened his Lafayette location in the Acadiana Mall.

Now after 37 years, Pearson's will be shutting its doors.

Owner Jerry Pearson says they have been through rough times over the years just like other local businesses; things like the downturn in the oil and gas industry in the early eighties, the recent downturn in the price of a barrel of oil, and each time they were able to survive. But, he says, this time it's different.

Pearson tells KPEL that he would cringe every time a customer would come in to look at products, write down the information and leave. He says he knew they would go home and order the product online.

He says it's hard to compete with online sales when a customer can get an item without have to pay state and local sales tax. While you are suppose to pay taxes on your internet items at the end of the year, most people don't.

Pearson says he is hoping that his business closing will serve as a lesson to people about why it is so important to buy local. He says his message is simple, "When you stop buying local, jobs go away".

Pearson tells us that the downturn in the oil industry and online shopping have been the perfect recipe for having a massive impact on sales.

They will be liquidating their inventory starting today with sales starting at 20 to 50 percent.

He says he wants to emphasize that this is a real liquidation sale, and not some "come-on sale" to get you in the door. Pearson says they will stay open until they have liquidated the entire contents of the store.

Pearson says you will be getting great deals on brands such as  Tumi, Rimowa, Briggs and Riley, and Bosca, but there will be no special orders taken.

Jerry says his business is like so many other local businesses; they are being impacted by changing shopping patterns.  He currently employees four people at the Lafayette location.

The owner says he wants to thank the many loyal customers who have purchased from their store for years. He adds that he will so miss being able to help customers in Acadiana. He told KPEL, "I just love it. I love helping people get something they want".

Pearson says the Baton Rouge store is still open.


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