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The biggest little family store in the East

AJ, Rachel and Tony El Chaar (right) help to operate Chaar, which plans to open another store. - (Photo / Stacy Wescoe)

Tony El Chaar calls it a “big small store.”

Tony El Chaar calls it a “big small store.”

And while he acknowledged that statement is a bit of an oxymoron, he said he can’t find a better way to describe his Allentown retail store, Chaar.

With two floors, 20,000 square feet of sales and service space and more than 35,000 different types of products, Chaar is a very big small family store.

The store also is distinct in that mix of products. Chaar carries the largest selection of western-style cowboy boots in the region, and maybe even beyond that, El Chaar said.

On average, the store has 130 styles of men’s boots and 140 styles of women’s boots and 4,000-5,000 pairs on the shelves.

While the boots are a major draw, they are complemented by other western lifestyle clothing and even casual clothing, work boots and hiking boots.

Outside of the apparel and footwear offerings is an entirely different side of the store – pet food, supplies and services. There, it sells everything from organic cat food to doggie beds, and have grooming and training services as well.

In fact, business is such that the El Chaar family is looking to open a second store and potentially more in the Lehigh Valley.

It might seem like a strange retail marriage, but AJ El Chaar, Tony’s son and vice president of marketing and merchandise for the store, insists it came about very naturally.

The younger El Chaar said the store started in 2001 in the industrial park off Airport Road as Chaar Saddlery.

Stacy Wescoe
Writer and online editor Stacy Wescoe has her finger on the pulse of the business community in the Greater Lehigh Valley and keeps you up-to-date with technology and trends, plus what coworkers and competitors are talking about around the water cooler — and on social media. She can be reached at stacyw@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 4104. Follow her on Twitter and on Facebook.

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