Leonard Silver Menswear to close after 70 years in Hull city centre and Beverley

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 17 Mar 2017

Two family-run menswear stores responsible for bringing some of the biggest fashion brands to Hull are shutting up shop after more than 70 years in business.

Leonard Silver Menswear, which has stores in Savile Street in Hull city centre and in Market Place, Beverley, will cease trading after Eric Silver, who took over the business from his father, made the difficult decision to retire.
"It was a hard one. It was a tough decision but I am way past retirement age," he said. "All good stories have to come to an end. Obviously it is sad but you can't go on forever.

"I made the decision some time ago now but I carried on indefinitely. It was obviously very hard to break it to my staff and it will be sad to see the name go.

"The people of Hull have always been good to us and a lot of people have expressed their sorrow at us having to close. However, at the same time they have wished me all the best because they understand and respect my decision."

Mr Silver's father, Leonard, set up the business in 1946 with his son joining the enterprise in 1962 as a 16-year-old when the business was based in Jameson Street.

After spending time in London in the late 1960s working for trendy menswear shops in the likes of Carnaby Road and Kings Road, he returned to Hull to set up his own boutique store which was offered to him by his father.

He opened up two shops in Hull and Scunthorpe under his own name but, when his father passed away in 1976, he took over the original Leonard Silver shop.

In 1981, he moved the store to Savile Street. It has remained there ever since and the firm will be remembered for being instrumental in bringing the brands of Armani, Eton and Florentino to Hull.

Mr Silver said: "I've got lots of memories. We always had football managers and players come in to get their suits fitted and I remember the likes of Raich Carter, Peter Taylor and Phil Brown. That was special.

"There has been lots of changes and fashion changes all the time. We had the designer boom in the 80s and the emergence of suits by Italian brands."Nowadays it's a lot more about casualwear and there isn't as much prominence in suits as there used to be. You wouldn't see anyone in jeans in my father's day."

With more than 50 years' worth of experience in the trade, Mr Silver admitted that it wasn't an easy decision to let his father's business go.

However, after completing the difficult task of breaking the news to his staff, Mr Silver is now ready to enjoy his retirement and is holding out hope that someone will takeover the premises and build a new clothing shop in its place.

He said: "I am looking forward to taking it easy, going on a few holidays and do some more relaxing pastimes that I have missed out on. I'm hoping I can get to a few more Hull City games now that I won't be working on Saturdays too."It's all fitted out in a certain way and if someone did want to turn it into another clothes shop and rebrand it that would be great."

The Beverley store is set to close at the end of this month when the lease runs out with the Savile Street store due to close its doors for the final time in a couple of months.

There will be a closing down sale in both shops prior to shutting with big reductions across all items in store.

Read more: Hull inventor hopes to net buyers with his innovative fishing Sodafloat



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