When Rick McKnight decided he wanted to sell the Kiddie Shoppe he was determined to find someone he was sure would carry on its tradition of quality product and exceptional service begun by Philip and Ada Pomerance in 1936.
He found that person in Lindsey Morgan.
The new owner of the store located in The Shoppes at Bradley Park will take over August 1.
Morgan, who came here from Atlanta in 2005, has three children under the age of eight and the Kiddie Shoppe has been where she has been purchasing their clothes.
“I love Columbus. I love the people. This is home,” Morgan said. “I am excited about this new adventure. I am ready to learn more about the business.”
She said the store will have a grand re-opening ceremony in October.
Morgan, whose husband Todd owns the Chick-Fil-A in Phenix City, is president of the PTO at Eagle Ridge Academy.
“I have my plate full,” she said.
McKnight’s plate will be a little less full now.
“I just turned 60 and I’ve got some good years left. I’ve been in retail for 41 years and it has been a hell of a ride. I am ready to explore some other options. I had been thinking about selling the store and the opportunity came along. Lindsey will continue the legacy.”
He began his retail career as a teen working in a W.T. Grant store in Cross Country Plaza.
“It is where Publix is now,” he said. “I have always been a seller.”
McKnight has been involved with numerous charitable and civic causes and said he will continue to do so.
He will also find more time, he said, to be an active grandfather.
McKnight, who was a member of the project development team for the RiverCenter for the Performing Arts, has been president of the Columbus Symphony and is on the board of the Youth Orchestra of Greater Columbus. He is on the steering committee of the Columbus 10-year Plan to End Homelessness. He is the organist and choirmaster at St. Thomas Episcopal Church.
The Kiddie Shoppe began downtown and has been located in both the now defunct Columbus Square Mall and Peachtree Mall.
McKnight, who at the time owned McKay’s a women’s retail store in Main Street Village, bought the store from the estate of Warren Pomerance in 1991. At that time, he said he bought the store to continue the Pomerance legacy, while expanding the retail base.
“The Kiddie Shoppe has served five generations of children and I expect it will continue to serve future generations,” he said this week.
McKnight will still own the building in which the Kiddie Shoppe is located.
One thing about the store that McKnight is most proud, he said, is that is the only “sit and fit” shoe store in the area and provides shoes for children with special needs.
Leaving the store that he has worked in six days a week won’t be easy.
“I have already had children coming in and giving me hugs telling me how much they will miss me,” he said. “They will be missed too.”