R. L. Davis: Same Name, New Owners - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

11/15/06-Tyler

R. L. Davis: Same Name, New Owners

Ralph Davis walks the aisles of the company he started from the bottom up.

He says operating the store has run its course.

"I'm 80 years old. I had my big birthday in August. Decided maybe it's time to go out and smell the roses," says Davis.

"He kind of played with this for a long time. He said what am I doing at this store at this age. So we knew it was in the back of his mind," adds Mary Kay Lust, an employee since 1982.

While the decision wasn't an easy one, neither was deciding who to sell the business to.

The business was bought by a couple in their 30's.

"They're going to expect us to be a little bit more modern with what we do with our bridal registry which will be exciting and fun," says Lust.

"(The new owners) have the same desire today that I had 55 years ago when I moved to Tyler and wanted to conquer the world," says Davis.

The big question is: will customers see a change in the china, linens, jewelry and the highly-popular Christopher Radko ornaments they shop at R. L. Davis for?

Davis answers, "Nothing will change. The same product, the same people."

The new owners even bought the rights to the name R. L. Davis so that will stay the same as well.

Giving Davis assurance that current and future customers will be left in good hands.

"It needed someone that wanted to continue this image. I think (the new owners) want it to happen and they will see to it that it happens."

New ownership will take over January 1st.

Davis says he'll still travel to buy products for the store's antique silver department.

He hopes to also spend more time with his grandchildren.

Christine Nelson reporting. cnelson@kltv.com

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