Erday's men's clothing store, which has dressed men in and around Geneva for nearly 88 years, has hired a firm to start a liquidation sale on Thursday. the family said.
The economy, big box discounters and changes in fashion taste are among the factors that have hurt sales and forced Geneva's oldest family-run clothing store at 10 N. Third St., to close its doors by late March, President Victor Erday said.
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"First it was Casual Friday. Then, pretty soon every day was a casual day," he said. "Men used to wear suits and ties to work five days a week and buy at least several suits a year, but that isn't happening any more."
The news came as a surprise to other suburban business leaders, including Jean Gaines, president of the Geneva Chamber of Commerce.
"It has been a pleasure working with two generations of Erdays over the years," said Gaines. "The name has always been a trademark for Geneva and the store an anchor for Geneva. We will certainly miss them, but they will now have more time to fish."
The family hired DDT Clothing Inc, a clothing store liquidator based in Fond du Lac, Wis., which has taken the reins of the liquidation sale. It starts at 9 a.m. Thursday and continues until all the merchandise is sold, possibly in six to eight weeks, Victor Erday said.
The store has had its share of well-known guests who stopped in to browse over the years, including former Gov. Jim Thompson and actor Bob Denver from "Gilligan's Island," Victor said.
Bob Erday, Victor's brother, has been working at the store about since he was in third grade and helped to put together gift boxes. He, Victor and brother Jim, along with a tailor, are the last of the employees. The store had a workforce of more than 20 during earlier years, Bob said.
While the store focused on men's suits, it added casual clothes in recent years, The last addition was rental of men's formal attire for weddings and proms. Some ladies clothing was added about five or six years ago, but that ended due to lack of sales, Victor said.
According to the store's website, grandfather Victor Erday Sr. a Hungarian immigrant, opened the store on May 1, 1925, as a custom tailoring shop at 8 N. Third St. The current store, built in 1930, is about 5,900 square feet.
During Erday's earlier years, the staff included Victor Erday's father, uncle, four brothers, a sister, and an additional 22 other employees and four full-time tailors.
The family, which owns the building, plans to rent out the space, Bob Erday said.