Over 50 Years
The Locker Room grew out of a life-long family tradition of providing products and service to the public. Owner and founder, Alex Gatewood, was raised in the Mississippi Delta where he worked in his father’s grocery store and on the family cotton farm. Following his graduation from Mississippi State University, he sought to broaden his knowledge and was hired by the Pizitz family of Birmingham to learn the clothing business. At an early age, he understood the value of becoming a self-employed operator, enabling him to make all the decisions and serve the public in a more personal setting.
In 1964, Alex and Bill Samuels, opened the Locker Room on the Strip in Tuscaloosa. The location was chosen because of the proximity to the University and to fill a noticeable void for a quality traditional men’s clothing store in Tuscaloosa. The business was housed at 1218 University Boulevard in the historic red wood farmhouse where it remained until 2015. On Thanksgiving weekend 2015, it was relocated to its current location at 2104 University Boulevard at the corner of 21st Street.
Alex was twenty-three years old when he opened the Locker Room. He hired University of Alabama students as employees and he and they grew up together as he broadened his base and opened more stores in various cities in Mississippi and one in Montgomery, Alabama. After several years, he decided to focus on the Tuscaloosa store, closed the other locations and sold his partner the Montgomery store on Carter Hill Road which still bears the Locker Room name.
Many Locker Room employees continue today in the clothing business as sales representatives and long, lasting friendships remain. Those first employees and customers have since sent their sons and grandsons to the Locker Room as they pursued their education at the University of Alabama. Many prized introductions have been made to “Mr. Alex” from grandfather to grandson. Alex has maintained a selection of traditional business clothing brands over the years while also understanding that certain trends in clothing were necessary to appeal to the modern college student. He has long carried esteemed brands such as Samuelsohn, Empire, Cole-Haan, Corbin, Robert Talbot, Gitman, Polo, Peter Millar, Ballin, Barbour and others. He also has found a following for Tasc, Southern Tide, and Bill’s Khakis. Alex and Rush continue to find innovative ways to enhance the clothing lines.
Some years ago, Alex trademarked his green-eyed original ElephantWear logo which has enjoyed a nationwide popularity in football gameday wear to include both men and women. Home game weekends in Tuscaloosa are populated with many of the original ElephantWear clothing items sold at the Locker Room and on its website.
The Locker Room staff is comprised of friendly, courteous, and helpful young men. Rush Crawford began his career as a freshman and continues as an asset since his graduation in his role as partner and operations manager. Alex’s son Mark Gatewood can be seen in the store and is an asset in sales. Tracy Gatewood is a retail real estate broker and with her brother, is a partner and officer in the corporation. Alex and all partners understand that pleasing the customer is a priority. Providing the best quality clothing and Locker Room legendary service will continue to make the Locker Room experience a success for 50+ years and beyond.
We thank you for shopping the Locker Room and are grateful for each customer that walks through our doors.
1218 UNIVERSITY BLVD
2104 UNIVERSITY BLVD
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