“I’m ready to retire and be with my grandkids,” he said.
But there’s light at the end of the tunnel: Smith sold his lease to Zegna, a brand his store has carried since 1983.
Smith said he was planning on retiring when his lease ran out in 2014, but Zegna approached him about an early exit and it was an opportunity he couldn’t turn down.
“It was a good thing for me,” Smith said. “I think it will be a good opportunity for Highland Park Village and our staff.”
Zegna will take a few months to build the space to their liking and import their Italian inventory. The store is slated to open in November, and Smith said he plans to work as an “ambassador” for six months to helps smooth the transition.