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One of Tuscaloosa's most recognizable small businesses, The Locker Room, celebrated its 56th year in business last month.

Since opening in 1964, the clothing store has become synonymous with the University of Alabama and the Crimson Tide, selling a huge selection of men's apparel making prominent use of UA's iconic script 'A'.

"[Being open for 56 years] means we are doing something right," said Rush Crawford, co-owner of The Locker Room. "We are a relationship store, we take care of people, we happen to sell quality clothing. We know our customers by name and we know what they like."

Crawford said when Alex Gatewood, the founder of The Locker Room, first opened the store, there were 13 other "men's stores" in Tuscaloosa. Now there are just three.

As the years passed, The Locker Room has stayed updated with its clients needs. Crawford said when the store originally opened, their business revolved around suits and sportscoats. Although both are still sold at the store, their core business has shifted to more casual clothing from name brands such as Peter Millar and Cole Haan.

"That's my goal: to always grow my business," Crawford said. "For years [the clientele] was a majority of Alabama people at the university, so people either knew us by word of mouth, we had a common link. Now [we] have people coming from all around the country."

Jim Page, President and CEO of The Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama said that it is "very unique" for any business to stay in business as long as The Locker Room has. He said that the store's ability to keep updated with their clients has led to there continued success.

"People who have attended the University of Alabama over the last few decades have a real affinity for The Locker Room and its signature products," Page said. "It's something [they] look forward to coming back to and shopping when they come back in town with different generations of families that have gone to school at the university. It's become a family tradition to shop there and that's what is really neat about a small business and how it can become ingrained in the culture of the individual families."

For more information about The Locker Room, check out their website here.

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