Puritan Cape Cod Looks Ahead While Honoring its Core Values

At Puritan Cape Cod, quality and personalized service are absolutely everything. The family-owned and operated business was first opened in 1919 by Abraham Penn, with a location in Plymouth. Even in its infancy, the Puritan mission was to provide classic, impeccably tailored clothing and personalized service – each of the highest quality possible.

The first Cape Cod location opened in Chatham in 1925 and serviced not only the residents of the town, but it also provided uniforms to the Chatham Coast Guard – sales that were critical in helping the company survive the Depression years. Abe’s two sons, Milton and Howard, joined the business, and the Hyannis store opened in 1939.

Today, Puritan Cape Cod continues to be synonymous with high-quality clothing, shoes and accessories, and is run by the third generation of the Penn family, cousins Rick and Jim Penn. The cousins strive to listen to the needs of the industry and of their customers, and adapt to the trends they foresee. Puritan prides itself on keeping a close eye on trends, but carefully editing down the world of fashion to apply to their distinguished Cape Cod customers.

“People think we’re in the clothing business. But the way we see it, we’re in the relationship business,” Jim said. “And, like any relationship, the very first step is learning our customers’ names. We greet many of our customers on a first-name basis.”

You’ll find everything from elevated casual clothes, to custom suits, to ski gear. Most recent additions to the business include the ski shop and the adjoining restaurant, café, and spa in the Hyannis flagship store. Merchandise is also continually changing. They’re continually updating the store with new modern brands and listening to what their customers love.

“It’s not about what we sell, but why,” said Rick. “We are anchored by our core values of earning the relationship with each and every customer through providing the highest quality of service, merchandise, and customer experience.”

Puritan constantly reinvests in the company with exciting store renovations, new marketing strategies, and featuring updated brands. In addition to personalized customer service, Puritan also provides services such as a full-service tailor shop in-house for custom alterations, and free gift wrapping.

“It’s all about helping people look good and feel good. My favorite is when a young man comes in to buy his first suit. You can see the way his confidence builds when he puts it on. Standing a little taller, looking proud at his reflection,” Rick said.

Puritan also works to give back throughout the year with benefit shopping events in the store, where a portion of the sales are donated to a local organization. The community is a crucial component of every Puritan store. “If you work in the community, you must give back to the community,” said Rick.

One example is the upcoming “Girls’ Night Out” event, which supports the group WE CAN (Women’s Empowerment through Cape Area Networking) is an annual night out that is always crowded and raises money for women’s programs offered through WE CAN. This year’s event will be on Wednesday, March 27, from 5:30 to 7:30 at Puritan’s Hyannis location.

Although today’s Puritan still carries the same core values it did 100 years ago, the methods of providing that exceptional customer service have changed as the times demand. This year, Puritan will complete a six-year-long renovation, including major interior and exterior improvements to the Chatham and Hyannis stores. Both locations now feature more modern interiors that are light and bright and speak to the Cape Cod lifestyle.

Changes in technology have enabled Puritan to cultivate and maintain customer relationships even outside their four walls. On social media, Puritan posts photos not just of merchandise, but of familiar faces. Customers love to see and comment on photos of familiar employees they’ve come to know in-store.

“Our Puritan family now extends outside the store,” said Jim. “We can connect with our customers from afar, all year long, and in a very personal way.”

“Yes, you have to have great product, a great looking store, the right price,” Rick added. “But what it really comes down to is the intangibles – how you make your customers feel.”

You’ll find Puritan’s stores on the Main Streets of Hyannis, Chatham, Falmouth, and Mashpee Commons, or by visiting puritancapecod.com.

About Ann Luongo

Ann Luongo has been writing for Cape Cod and South Shore publications for over 15 years.

737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
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