Most men’s main objective when shopping is to know what they need, find it and leave. Although shopping isn’t a favorite pastime for men, there are many individually-owned, local stores with friendly and knowledgeable staff that help customers find what they need and what brands fit them best. Carter’s Men’s Clothing in Phoenix is one of those stores.

Founded in 1984 by Mike Carter, the owner brought years of retail experience and enthusiasm for men’s clothing to Carter’s Men’s Clothing, which carries an array of quality brands and has an approachable staff ready to assist customers.

Located in what Carter describes as the “golden corner” of Phoenix, Carter’s is located between Arcadia and Paradise Valley, within a short drive to the Phoenician and Biltmore Fashion Park.

Carter, who was born and raised in Arizona, says having repeat customers who learned about Carter’s through word of mouth has made the business successful for more than 30 years.

“People count on us for quality products and customer service,” Carter says. “Customers come in for all kinds of special occasions, including weddings, proms and other formal events.”

Carter says customers can find everything they need in one place. The 2,400-square-foot store carries shirts, sport coats, pants, shoes, neckwear and suits in brands such as Samuelsohn, Robert Talbott, Baldon shoes, Ballin pants, Gitman Bros. shirts, Peter Millar, Polo Ralph Lauren, 34 Heritage denim and Reyn Spooner.

“We’re definitely transitioning into a dressier time period in America to more updated, refreshing sportswear that fits today’s business climate,” Carter says. “Men can still look nice when they go into the office and not necessarily put a shirt and tie or suit on, so we’ve moved into a very sophisticated sportswear that men are wearing today, from their jeans to their sport shirts, to jackets and socks and shoes. Sportswear is a big part of our business.”

Carter says it’s important to have a staff that can not only interact with various customers, but can make recommendations as to what pairs well together, suits the occasion, or complements an individual’s sense of personal style.

“The staff is the heart and soul of the business, “ Carter says. “I have very experienced salesmen and we do everything together — from buying the products to setting up displays. Our staff is very well educated in our products, the times we live in and our customer base.”

Carter says part of what makes his store unique is the local shop experience and atmosphere, where the owner and staff knows the customers and can build meaningful relationships to create loyal and lifelong customers, some of whom span several generations.

“Anybody can put clothing in a clothing store, but it’s how you present it and how you treat your customers that’s most important,” Carter says. “The two things set us apart from competitors is our product knowledge and our service to our customers.”

Carter is confident the store will continue to provide quality service to customers for years to come.

“I’m encouraged because we’ve been here for 35 years and we’ve weathered some ups and downs in the economy, but we continue to grow and find new customers who like our product, so I don’t see us going anywhere but continuing the business we have today,” Carter says.