By Peter Zimmerman
After years in NE, Animal Traffic is starting fresh at 134 SE Taylor St #201. The store has been around since 2009 and features high quality brands and reasonably priced Western shirts, boots and other vintage clothes, plus new accessories by American brands.
Although this is a new start for owner Tom Erickson, this is not Animal Traffic’s first time in SE. Erickson started out in a small shop on Division, where he sold his personal vintage collection and people started buying, and Animal Traffic grew.
With a business model based on providing authentic, quality merchandise at a good value, Erickson was able to move to a larger location on Mississippi St., and opened a second location, a footwear store, and even had a coffeeshop.
Animal Traffic became known for under-represented brands like Fjallraven and Duluth Backpacks, and heritage brands like Woolrich, and for years, the business thrived.
Then, in 2017, business began to slow, and Erickson was forced to downsize and close multiple locations and eventually leave the flagship location on Mississippi St.
He became part of a new, up and coming community on the central eastside, among businesses like Cargo, Bunk Bar and Trew Gear.
After the downsize, Erickson went back to what got him started – quality merchandise and a customer focused approach.
The store sports heritage brands like Filson and Danner Boots, as well as products made by local craftspeople, like jewelry leather and bags, and will always be a place to purchase quality vintage.
Faced with an ever-changing retail marketplace where it seems like everything is being purchased online, Erickson believes in a local, community- based approach.
Animal Traffic does have social media channels and an online store, but is focused on establishing relationships with customers, and being a place where people can come and discover something new, and trust that they are getting the best product.
As Erickson says, “We’re a place where you can come sit on a cool couch and try on some cool clothes.”
Animal Traffic can be found at animaltrafficpdx.com, 503.249.4000