Cavender’s Celebrates 50th Anniversary

2015 marks the 50th anniversary of a Texas western classic. Cavender’s has become the go-to western wear retailer with a reach spanning 8 states. They stand apart from others in the industry in more ways than one.  Still owned and operated by the Cavender family, their roots are sunk deep in the western lifestyle. This allows them to get a feel for what their customers want and they have not forgotten their humble beginnings.

In 1957, James R. Cavender opened a little burger joint called the Dairy Hart in the small East Texas town of Pittsburg. After years of this, Oklahoma native James had grown tired of dipping ice cream and flipping hamburgers and decided to open a clothing store “Cavender & Smith’s.” A year later, James bought out his partner and being a farm boy with an agriculture degree from Oklahoma State (then Oklahoma A&M), he bought three styles of Tony Lama boots. History was now in the making at the renamed “Cavender’s.” By the mid-seventies, there were 5 Cavender’s stores and by 1981, when the store became the hot spot for cowboy boots in East Texas, the name was changed to “Cavender’s Boot City” and today is called “Cavender’s Western Outfitter” outside of Texas. In 1983, Cavender’s began its trek across the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex and in 1986 opened its first of 11 Houston stores.  Today Cavender’s is distinguished within the industry as a western tradition with 68 stores and a website; 48 of the stores spread across the great State of Texas. The rest are in Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico. New stores have recently opened in Denver and Colorado Springs, CO, Albuquerque, NM, Monroe, LA and Rogers, AR. 

As the company celebrates its golden anniversary, additional locations are scheduled to open, including Little Rock, AR, Oklahoma City, OK, Chesterfield, MO and Rockwall, TX. The Waco, TX location is moving to a larger, new location and the College Station, TX store is being expanded and remodeled.

Cavender’s is led by James’ eldest son, Joe who serves as president of the company. His brothers, Mike and Clay Cavender are also involved with Mike in charge of site selection, and Clay overseeing store design and merchandising. Half a century later, their father and company founder, James, is still active and involved. He often can be heard offering advice at the Cavender’s headquarters in Tyler, Texas. Their mother, Pat Cavender still decorates all new and remodeled stores. Her diligence and attention to detail helps ensure that customer’s experience the signature western style in each store. The Cavenders credit their success to the dedication and loyalty of their associates. “Our loyal associates work in a team atmosphere, like a family,” says Mike.

The family owns and operates five working ranches throughout Texas and they gather inspiration for their products saying they are “ranch tested.” Cavender’s stores carry work wear, classic western styles, the latest trends in ladies and men’s fashion, accessories, home décor and of course, boots!

Many years ago, James was quoted as saying, “There is a four letter word: W-O-R-K…Nothing is going to happen unless you’re willing to WORK.” His work ethic and that of his family and many dedicated associates, have allowed the company to have an incredibly successful 50 years. Cavender’s extends a hearty “Thank You” to its customers, associates, vendors, and friends for making this 50th anniversary possible.

Plans for the golden anniversary celebration include promotions, commemorative Texas Country Music CD releases, customer appreciation events, and the official 50th Anniversary T-shirts and caps available for sale throughout the year.

For more information, contact Terry Cooper, Chief Marketing Officer at (903) 561-4992, [email protected] or visit For more information about Cavender’s Ranches or cattle purchases, contact the ranch headquarters at