The Ultimate Jean Store, Route 66 was established in 1988 by Kevyn Male, then the owner of the women’s wear boutique, Three Bears. Kevyn Male was a pioneer retailer in Newmarket. His first store opened in 1967. This exciting theme Jean Store was created in the space of 3 weeks – an exercise that required transforming an old Post Office into a new-look retail store which broke rules and new ground pertaining to mainstream retailing in New Zealand. Kevyn Male refers to this store as his theatre – the store his stage – the customers his audience and the staff are his actors. The image of the store drew largely from it’s namesake, Route 66, the highway that spans the US across 8 states from Chicago to Los Angeles. Much of the original imagery featured cars, roads, deserts, petrol pumps and nostalgic American icons.
Core products were the focus with brands such as Hanes Beefy T and Levis leading the way. Since 1988, Route 66 has continually expanded on its product range to become the Ultimate destination for Denim. It has undergone an extensive image change, with the old Post Office making way for an exciting new space it has occupied since 2000. It was during this time that Todd Male, (Kevyn’s son) took over managing the store having previously been working there for 12 years. He was assisted by his sister Samantha for a number of years. In November 2014 Route 66 celebrated the notable milestone of 25 years in business. The Celebration culminated in a memorable party held in the store. Many old industry faces attended along with customers and friends of Route 66. Into 2016 and 27 years in business, Route 66 is currently having a mini make-over to give the store a fresher, cleaner look. Friendly, honest & knowledgeable sales staff, a diverse product selection and an exciting shopping environment make Route 66 deserving of it’s reputation as New Zealand’s Ultimate Jean Store.