The new year is bringing some big changes to Pearson’s Luggage and Gifts on Jefferson Highway.

President Jerry Pearson is retiring from the business after 37 years. Beginning in 2018, the store will be led by Ned Pearson, son of Jerry and wife Lynn, and Ned’s wife, Lindsey.

An inventory liquidation sale began Dec. 27 in preparation for the store being rebuilt in a smaller footprint. Jerry Pearson said the smaller store is a result of an out-of-date business model, with the internet, department store promotions and direct competition from suppliers as factors.

Pearson’s Travel World will remain open with 42-year team member Cindy Chambers in the lead.

Jerry and Lynn Pearson went into business in 1971 with Rapp’s Luggage in Bon Marche Shopping Center. The couple bought the original store from Lynn’s family, the Tranchinas of New Orleans, in 1979. The store spent 20 years in Cortana Mall and at times included locations in Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Shreveport and Mobile, Alabama. Pearson’s moved to its current location at 7979 Jefferson Highway in 1996.