Cavalier Shoppe Closing After 42 Years

The Cavalier Shoppe in Bruce has begun the process that will ultimately lead to the store’s closing in the next few months.

The Cavalier Shoppe in Bruce has begun the process that will ultimately lead to the store’s closing in the next few months.
First opened by Rex Jarrett in 1967, the Cavalier Shoppe is now advertising a 50-75% off sale for all merchandise as the business begins liquidating inventory.
The 72-year-old Jarrett prefers to call it a “Gone Fishing Sale,” since that is among his priorities once the sale is final.
The store has been a family affair with daughter Rhonda Jarrett managing the Bruce store for years. She is currently in nursing school and scheduled to graduate in December.
rex_rhonda_jarrett.jpgDaughter Sylvia Jarrett Caples managed the Cavalier Shoppe in Jackson during its six year run. Their mother Janice has maintained the store’s books for all 42 years.
Shirley Keeton, who has worked at the store for the past nine years, said she plans to “go fishing” too when the store closes.
Rex Jarrett, known for his motto – “Early to bed. Early to rise. Work like hell and advertise” – said there is no definite timetable as to when the store will close.
Jarrett was partners with James R. Henry the first 10 years of the store before becoming the sole proprietor.
In the beginning, The Cavalier Shoppe offered men’s and boy’s clothing only. They later added the shoe store, ladies’ and children’s apparel, before evolving into men’s and ladieswear.
The Cavalier Shoppe was the first account in Mississippi for Polo.
The walls in the store are filled with autographed photos of celebrities who shopped with the Jarretts – Charlie Conerly, Eli Manning, Trent Lott, Morgan Freeman and others.
Virtually every Mississippi governor, lieutenant governor, Ole Miss player, coach and many students have shopped at The Cavalier Shoppe.
Rhonda Jarrett said all of the memorabilia lining the walls will go home with the family.
“We have  had several people to ask about it,” Rhonda said. “But we have already agreed on how to divide it all up and take it home with us.”
A new line of products developed at the store when Ole Miss Chancellor Gerald Turner began a movement to remove the playing of “Dixie” by the band and the waving of “Rebel flags” at Ole Miss sporting events.
“Telling a college student what not to do is like telling a dog sick-’em,” Rex said.
He had a giant order of boxer shorts printed special that included little “Rebel flags” and the phrase “Let the band play Dixie!”
Rex mailed postcards to all Ole Miss students advertising the boxers. He sold over 2,000 by that Christmas.
The success with the “Rebel” flag boxers soon grew into a new niche for the business – clothing and memorabilia based on “Southern pride” under the Jarretts’ own “Wave a Rebel Flag” label.
The Jarretts developed a four-page color brochure promoting the many “Southern” products they had to offer. That brochure evolved into a 40-plus page catalog and website in the succeeding years.