J.S. EDWARDS: A FOND FAREWELL TO A GREAT STORE

by Karen Alberg Grossman

“I’m sorry” is not the phrase Ed Steinberg expected to hear on announcing next month’s closure of his menswear store in Baltimore, which has been in business for 38 years. “We’ve had our retirement planned for 2+ years now. My wife Diane has worked with me since the early days at the store. She was a teacher but switched to managing all the books, all the marketing, all the communication, and emails. The timing is particularly appropriate since our lease is ending, the retail business model is changing (more direct-to-consumer) plus pandemic challenges helped confirm our decision.”

That said, Steinberg admits that it’s bittersweet since he’s truly loved this business: both the rapport with his customers, colleagues and staff, and selecting the right fashion for his somewhat conservative clientele. “Baltimore has never been an extreme fashion city,” he explains. “There’s no Saks, no Bloomingdale’s, one Nordstrom, and only a couple of remaining independents. That said, the business has been good to us and I have no regrets. (Well, maybe I should have pushed harder to buy my own building early on…) But I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished, winning Best in Baltimore for 15 years, getting acknowledgment in Esquire, and forming many wonderful friendships.”

Always an industry leader with great ideas (creating a private label for specialty stores early on, working with vendors to channel business to the independents, conceiving a “ZoomWear” department within his store), Steinberg is closing with a bang: his top 500 customers (of a 4,000-person mailing list) will receive VIP cards to pre-shop his Retirement Sale today and tomorrow while the store is officially closed (by appointment so visits are staggered and safety measure can be applied). “Our staff has been terrific, setting things up and making personal phone calls to our top customers, mostly to thank them for their business.”

Going forward, Steinberg plans to travel, spend more time with family (a daughter, son-in-law, and grandson locally; a son, daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren in L.A.), rejoin a few boards and associations, perhaps do some consulting with the Chamber of Commerce or else on his own, and generally enjoy life. After 54 years in the business (38 at his own store, 16 prior at a menswear chain), he certainly deserves it!

Congrats Ed and Diane; wishing you happiness always.

13 Replies to “J.S. EDWARDS: A FOND FAREWELL TO A GREAT STORE”

  1. When I still had the Daniel Dolce Italy Line J. S. Edwards was an excellent customer and I always enjoyed visiting the store for personal appearances.
    Ed and was a wonderful merchant And Baltimore was a special city for me because it’s where I got my start in the fashion business at hamburgers

    1. Ed and his team were gracious with their time, encouraging to an emerging footwear label (J Shoes) and endearing to my teammates who flew in from abroad.

  2. hi ed,
    sorry to hear your closing. my best to your family and i wish you a grand retirement.
    ross graison

    1. Edward and Diane enjoy your retirement and family and congratulations on operating a successful business for so many years

  3. It’s been great to work alongside of Diane, you, Mike, Stan, and the team these past 20 years for your Custom Shirt Events. See you on the 17th for a found farewell.

  4. A job well done! When you consider the heart and soul that goes into a business and to lose control of your destiny to a pandemic. The fact of the matter Mr. Steinberg has regained and cashed in on a great career. To be in business that long there is a deep emotional connection to your business and your patrons. All of this was done by the sheer devotion to help people better visual image. Sir, I salute you and wish you all the best. I also congratulate you and your wife for a job well done. Salute. David Graves Alexander Davis legacy store.

  5. Ed you’re truly a mensch and always was one ,
    Thanks for never kicking me out of your store.
    All the best
    Greg Provenzano

  6. Ed and Diane
    Steve and I wish both of you the very best in your next chapters.
    We are proud to have played a small part of your specialty store.
    It was a pleasure doing business with you, and serving your customers.
    Again our thanks for that support, and hoping nothing but good things for you both.
    Gary Wasserman
    Left Coast Tee

  7. My sincere best to the entire Crew at JSE. Wonderful to have worked with you and making me feel so welcome. I know you’re looking forward to seeing your Family and spending time with your grandchildren.
    Take care and thank you for your kindness.
    Cheers!!!

  8. Dear Ed, will miss seeing you at the Trade Shows! Such a pleasure working with you. You’re truly a class act and kind gentleman. Wishing you and Diane all the best! You will find great enjoyment with your family and the ability to live wider! Enjoy!

  9. You will be missed by all. Enjoy retirement and stay well. Good luck and thanks for many great years

  10. A great comrade, always willing to share ideas and merchandise. A shame that we are losing some of the industry greats. Someday there will be an awakening by the next generation what has been lost…career professionals who gave their all to assist in making clients look great and feel good about themselves. Tell me how can that be done online…visually we can see the difference in a professionally fitted garment and one that was ordered online. Wishing you all the best…Nancy and Scott Zahner

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