Hubbard Clothing Co. buys The Independent

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 1,736 views 

Hubbard Clothing Co., a luxury men’s specialty store in Rogers, is expanding through acquisition.

Owner Donny Hubbard says he and business partner Steve Clark, founder and CEO of Propak Logistics of Fort Smith, have acquired menswear retailer The Independent, which has a store on the square in downtown Bentonville.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“It will be another branch of Hubbard Clothing Co., and the landscape of that store will change exponentially,” Hubbard said. “It will have a focus more on casual sportswear with more approachable merchandise than what we are doing at my shop.”

In addition to fine clothing, the Rogers store caters to an upwardly mobile clientele through a high-end barbershop and a speakeasy-style lounge. Private artwork is also displayed and available for sale.

Hubbard said he is also planning to open a denim shop on Block Street in downtown Fayetteville, in a space previously occupied by The Independent.

The Independent has had a number of equity partners the past several years, including Hubbard and Clark themselves. Judson Lee, who is now president and co-owner of Fayetteville creative and branding agency Blkbox (see Page 5), sold his shares in The Independent earlier this year to Clark. Mike Malone and Terry Smith have also held an ownership in the business in the past.

Hubbard opened his own store in March, just a few months after returning to Northwest Arkansas. Prior to that, he worked as a buyer and merchandiser for Louisville, Ky.-based retailer Rodes from 2016 to 2017. Before his time at Rodes, Hubbard was the co-owner and managing partner from 2004 to 2016 of Baumans Northwest in Rogers, which was rebranded in 2009 as … The Independent.

Hubbard, a member of the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 class in 2012, said he has “something else on the table” he is working on but declined to discuss details.

“It will be fairly big industry news in the clothing industry and hopefully be big news here,” he said. “We should have something to announce soon.”