A ribbon-cutting ceremony today made the move of Silver of Westport to its new (old) location official at the Compo Acres shopping center on Post Road East. Doing the honors were (l-r) Town Clerk Patricia Strauss, Stephen Silver, Selectman Charles Haberstroh, First Selectman Gordon Joseloff, and Susan Silver, co-owner of the store with brother Stephen.
"Welcome to the new old," said Susan Silver, flashing a grin at patrons visiting the Westport retail institution that she co-owns with her brother Stephen.
It was a good term to describe the status of Silver of Westport, which has shuttled back and forth between storefronts a couple hundred yards three times since 1951.
On Saturday, the store celebrated its grand "reopening" in the original spot that in 1951 it first called home in Westport at 390 Post Road East.
"Grandad Sam started the business in Bridgeport on Main Street in 1904," said Stephen, "with canes and umbrellas, then luggage. In 1951, he opened a second store in Westport, at 386 State Street East, which became 390 Post Road East without moving."
The Bridgeport store, he said, "was huge in its day, and my grandfather's two brothers, Bennett and Marty, took it over. But then Marty died in a plane crash, Bennett opened another store in Milford and closed Bridgeport in 1963."
Silver of Westport moved in 1992 from 390 Post Road East to 404 in the Compo Shopping Center. Now, 19 years later, it has moved back. Trader Joe's had interest in the former space, terms were agreed upon and the grocery will expand into that storefront in January.
The store's loyal customers are one secret of Silver's success.
"What's great about this opening today is all the community friends that have come out to show their support," said patron Mimi Greenlee, "just like the Silvers have supported the community for so many years. Silver's has always been a place to go for birthday, graduation and holiday occasions. And you can't get any better luggage."
Westporter Tom Smith agreed with Greenlee's sentiment. "Silver's is the most consistent and loyal retail store in Westport, with long-standing customer relations and broadening categories of product," he said. "It's comforting that their move is an up-tick and they are not in any way obsolete."
|Silver of Westport plans a grand opening event Oct. 15 when the seller of gifts, luggage and more moves back to the original site -- 390 Post Road East in the Compo Shopping Center -- where it was opened in 1951.
Photo: Contributed Photo / Westport News contributed
On October 3, 2011, Silver of Westport will move to their new “old” location at 390 Post Road East in Westport. What? This was their original location when they moved to the Compo Shopping Center in 1951. In 1992, they moved to their current, now old, location just down 4 spaces at 404 Post Road East.
The Grand Opening will be October 15. And, “everything old is new again”! The brother/sister owners, Stephen and Susan Silver are bringing back the door prizes that their father Phil conceptualized and implemented for the location. You're invited to come visit and enter the Grand Opening Drawing to win FREE gifts. There are several groupings to choose from, all with values of $500 or more. Entries must be made by Oct 31.
Of Course, the merchandise has changed over the years. Silver of Westport has always lead in offering innovative product assortments and that has not changed. Father Phil was always a “techy” before the word existed. The apple did not fall far from the tree as Stephen’s enthusiasm in the area of technology, gadgetry and luggage are contagious. Susan is well known in the fashion accessories and handbag arena as a savvy buyer who recognizes trends early and is creative in her offerings.
The new “old” space was designed by the Granoff Architect, Andreas Stresemann. Stephen’s son David is an associate at the design group and is the project administrator. The store is light, bright, contemporary and filled with simply the best assortment of the unusual and unexpected. In addition, there are still the expected quality brands of luggage, leather goods, handbags and briefcases.
Silver of Westport is truly a remarkable multi-generation family effort in the best sense. The brother/sister devotion and respect is clearly evident and spills over to the extended family of sales associates who are an integral part of the business
October 3 will be a soft opening followed by the grand opening on October 15. So stop by, enter for a door prize of your choice, and let them “show you the love”!