Salloums' Will Close Downtown Clothing Shop - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

12/12/03

Salloums' Will Close Downtown Clothing Shop

The Ellis Salloum Department Store survived in downtown Gulfport when no other clothing store could. But now, owner Teal Salloum said, "It's time to slow down."

For months, Teal and Ellis Salloum agonized over what to do with a department store started by their parents. Teal Salloum had tears in his eyes when he said, "It's been a touchy situation."

The brothers had two options -- keep selling their men's and women's clothes. Or ring up their final sale and close. They chose option two.

"We know, from a business point of view, we're doing the right thing," Teal Salloum said. "But from an emotional and family point of view, the sentiment, it makes it very difficult."

It's difficult because the Salloums' can look in a mirror and reflect back on what the clothing business means to the family. The store has been on 24th Avenue since 1961. The Salloums have actually dressed downtown Gulfport shoppers since 1920. But now, a going out of business sign is in the front window.

The Salloum brothers are reluctantly ready to call it quits.

"Eighty three years is a long time," Teal Salloum said. "In a way, we feel like we're letting the family down. But this is the right thing to do. There is a time for everything. And we'll move on. Gulfport has been extremely good to us."

The Ellis Salloum store will close as soon as the brothers sell or lease their building. That day will give them one last chance to reflect on all the suits and dresses their family sold in downtown Gulfport.

by Brad Kessie

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