The oldest family-owned business in Westport is going out of business.
Silver’s — which since 1951 has stood in Compo Acres Shopping Center, and provided countless customers with untold holiday, birthday, wedding and graduation gifts (plus luggage, pens and plaques) — will close.
The end will come “as soon as we run out of merchandise,” co-owner Steve Silver says.
That may be the end of January. It might be before Christmas.
Either way, he says, “it’s time.”
Many factors — not just recent shopping center renovations that hurt business — contributed to the decision, which Steve and his sister Sue finalized yesterday. There’s the economy, the rise of online shopping, changing customer tastes, and the lack of younger family members willing to take over the store whose roots reach back to Steve’s grandfather and Bridgeport, in 1904.
“This has been a phenomenal experience,” Steve says. “We’re blessed we’ve made it this far. Sue and I are in our 60s, and we had a great run. It’s time to move on.”
Steve first worked at the store as a 13-year-old, in 1962. Since then he’s employed hundreds of people, and met “gazillions” of customers who turned into friends.
“That’s what I’ll miss most,” Steve says. “I’d really like to see them before we close.”
He adds, “We’re not depressed. This should be a New Orleans-style funeral.”
But — for family-owned Westport businesses — it is a funeral nonetheless.
(Starting today, all Silver’s prices are at least 20% off. More reductions may follow.)