Jildor Shoes closes Great Neck Plaza location

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Jildor Shoes, which opened in Great Neck Plaza in 1959, recently closed its doors. The space is now vacant. (Photo by Janelle Clausen)
Jildor Shoes, which opened in Great Neck Plaza in 1959, recently closed its doors. The space is now vacant. (Photo by Janelle Clausen)

Jildor Shoes, one of the longest running businesses in Great Neck Plaza, has closed its Great Neck location after nearly 60 years of doing business.

A sign posted in the window thanks patrons for their business and invites them to visit their newest location in Wheatley Plaza in Greenvale.

The Great Neck Plaza location is also no longer listed on its website.

The company will continue to operate its four locations — in Greenvale, Woodbury, Cedarhurst and Southampton.

The closing of the Great Neck location reflects an ongoing trend of businesses closing in the Plaza as well as surrounding Great Neck villages.

Jildor Shoes, an e-tailer and retailer for high-end footwear, began as a small shoe store in Cedarhurst in 1949.

Its Great Neck location was the second store to open in 1959, according to their website, and marked the start of an expansion into other locations like Greenvale, Woodbury and Southampton.

Jildor Shoes, which did business in Great Neck Plaza for about 60 years, closed on the last day of August. (Photo by Janelle Clausen)
Jildor Shoes, which did business in Great Neck Plaza for about 60 years, closed on the last day of August. (Photo by Janelle Clausen)

Great Neck Plaza Mayor Jean Celender described Larry Bienenfeld, the owner of the business and the building it was located in, as someone “always very cooperative and community-minded” and said that it was “sad” to see him go.

“He has other stores and this one, he’s been carrying awhile and just decided he didn’t want to continue with the loss here. What can you say?” Celender said on Thursday. “It’s sad to see a 60-year-old business decide that they’re shutting their doors, but he made that business decision.”

“I did go over and talk to him and told him how much we valued him in the community for so many years and he was a great merchant,” Celender added.

Bienenfeld said on Wednesday that the store had a “great” run there and that the village was very supportive.

“It was a great 60 years and it was just time,” Bienenfeld said. “It was great.”

Jay Corn, vice president of the Great Neck Plaza Business Improvement District, described Jildor and Camp and Campus – pictured here in 2016 – as having been "destination stores" in Great Neck Plaza. Both have closed their doors. (Photo from Google Maps)
Jay Corn, vice president of the Great Neck Plaza Business Improvement District, described Jildor and Camp and Campus – pictured here in 2016 – as having been “destination stores” in Great Neck Plaza. Both have closed their doors. (Photo from Google Maps)

Jay Corn, the vice president of the Great Neck Plaza Business Improvement District, described Jildor Shoes as a business going back two generations and among the last of the village’s fixtures.

“That was a destination store,” Corn said on Thursday.

The closure of Jildor Shoes in Great Neck Plaza follows the closure of Ruby Divine Indian Dining, another business on Middle Neck Road, which was recently voted as a runner-up for “Best Indian Restaurant” in Blank Slate Media’s “Best of the North Shore” contest.

Celender said it might have to do with the cost of doing business, particularly from higher monthly rents and rising costs of doing business.

“If you do the math, how many meals do you have to sell to make the rent and make money?” she said.

But, Celender said, the long-awaited T-Swirl Crepe business still plans to open and that seven recently approved businesses – including two stores selling baked goods – could enhance the village’s offerings.

“You’ve got to look at the positive things of new businesses moving in,” Celender said.

1 COMMENT

  1. And so the dissolution of GNP continues as the once secular becomes sectarian (and ethnocentric) and retail in almost all its free-standing forms dies.

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