Lacks was founded in 1935 when Sam Lack, a Russian immigrant, started his first store in McAllen, Texas. Though he had seen many parts of the country, Lack chose south Texas for its beautiful countryside and tropical climate. His successful career as a merchant began in a modest building at the corner of Main and Beaumont in downtown McAllen.
America’s love affair with automobiles during the 1930s and their growing accessibility convinced Lack to create a specialty business selling auto parts. Under his watchful eye and with tireless support from his family, his business flourished. Only three years after opening, Lack built his second store in Edinburg, which was quickly followed by new stores in Mission and Weslaco.
The war years of the 1940s were hard on the U.S. economy, and auto parts were rationed along with food and gasoline. Determined to succeed, Lack began offering household appliances – the first new product category since the stores began. As he added new products and opened stores across the Valley, Lack’s business transformed from a small auto parts chain into a full-scale furniture and appliances operation.
In 1949, Sam’s son-in-law Myles Aaronson began helping him run the family business. Myles later purchased the Weslaco store from Sam and began his own expansion program, called Lacks Associated Valley Stores, Inc. He continued to trade under the Lack family name. Aaronson purchased the Edinburg and Mission stores from Sam Lack and his son Stanley in 1990, and the company changed its name to Lacks Valley Stores, Ltd in 1995.
Two years later, Lee Aaronson, son of Sylvia and Myles Aaronson, became the stores’ chief executive officer. The stores remain a family-owned business under the guidance of Lee Aaronson, Carolyn Aaronson and Vicki Hutson.
Today, Lacks Valley Stores, Ltd. (also known as “Lacks”) has twelve outlets in south Texas from Laredo to Port Isabel. Lacks Galleria in McAllen is the largest furniture store in Texas at 140,000 square feet. The company’s two newest stores in Alice and San Benito opened in 2011.
Lacks (www.lacksvalley.com) ranks 65th in the top 100 retail furniture operations in the U.S. according to FurnitureToday, the furniture industry’s leading periodical. It employs over 700 associates. The company celebrates its 77th anniversary this year.