Longtime Skiatook business closing

Tuesday, November 22nd 2005, 9:56 am
By: News On 6

It's been a family owned dry goods store since before World War II. Several generations have been outfitted for work and school at Bayouth’s Department Store in Skiatook.

Now the owner says its closing time. News on 6 reporter Rick Wells says Bus Bayouth has operated a department store on the main drag in Skiatook since 1939. They're in the middle of a big going out of business sale.

Rick Wells: "Ever done anything else?" Suad Bayouth: "raise heck." He learned the retail business from his father, who sold from a horse drawn wagon. In fact, he was the prototype character for the peddler in the musical Oklahoma.

His motto, 'you can't sell from an empty wagon' and that philosophy's carried over, ‘if you need it Bayouth's probably has it.’ A lady needed a union suit, one-piece long johns, where else was she going to find them. Bus Bayouth: "You've probably wore 'em." Rick Wells: "I'm not admitting to that.”

The point is, he still has them because he knows somebody out there probably needs them. Nobody may ever want these shoes, but if they do. There are dresses and coats and hats from years gone by, like a plaid suit. Rick Wells: "It's a little snug, but don't I look good?"

Bayouth's has customers coming back from all over the country, because they're part of generations of folks who've gotten what they needed here. Greg Bayouth: "They were 14 or 15 hauling hay and needed boots or work jeans or gloves stuff like that and they'd come in and pay when they could." They've always done business that way.

It's an end of an era. Bus Bayouth says it's time to close. "Part of life, like a wave."

There has been no firm closing date set. It all depends on how much of the merchandise is sold and that the closing date will probably be some time after the first of the year.