Chiaramonte closing SoNo Silver with fire sale

NORWALK, Conn. – Jack Chiaramonte is closing up shop at SoNo Silver, lamenting the lack of business due to the economy.

Good news for you – Chiaramonte is liquidating everything in the store between now and Christmas, so there will be good deals for anyone looking for reasonably priced jewelery, evening bags, sunglasses, garden ornaments and salt lamps.

SoNo Silver is located at 58 North Main St., in a plaza owned by Chiaramonte’s parents.

“It’s just not worth being there,” said Chiaramonte, a Board of Education member. “I mean, we have people coming in all the time, they look but they can’t afford to buy now. It’s just a sign of the times. I hate to do it, I don’t want to do it, but I’m better off renting the store and getting the rent on it, and doing something else.”

Chiaramonte spent last summer on Martha’s Vineyard, trying to make ends meet with a booth on the street, he said. He was disappointed. Even there, with people on vacation in an upscale area, he didn’t do that well, he said. People just don’t have the discretionary income these days, he said.

Times are tough in SoNo, said Chairamonte, who came to Norwalk in 1991 because he heard people spend money here. He and his brother had restaurants, but when his brother died seven years ago at 41, Chiaramonte got out of restaurants and into jewelry, he said.

“I was set up to be more of a reasonable store but still they have cut down on it,” he said. “So there is nothing you can do, it just is what it is. I think people are worrying about what the cost of their health care is going to be and then they’re worried about their jobs.”

Jeff’s Cuisine closed in Sono last January. Blue Moon closed, Chiaramonte said. Some businesses that were going to come in didn’t do it, he said.

Then there was the closing of Sassafras in July, after 29 years on Washington Street. Owner John Deorio is a good businessman, but started feeling a pinch two or three years ago, Chiaramonte said.

“(I kept telling him) it’s going to get better, it’s going to get better, and it got worse and worse and worse,” Chiaramonte said. “It’s just reality setting in for me. I said I’ve had enough.”


8 responses to “Chiaramonte closing SoNo Silver with fire sale”

  1. Joanne Romano

    What a shame! The jewelry is always a good gift or just for yourself and I have bought many pieces there…another store out and probably another restaurant in (How many restaurants and bars can we possibly use in one area). Seems that this is all there will be in Sono pretty soon. But the economy has hit everyone and while some tell you the unemployment rate is down and we’re on our way to recovery, 3.9% sales increase does not help small businesses. Instead of the malls, why not try your local merchants? They lose out on days like Black Friday etc because everyone is scrambling to hit the malls and spend money they can ill afford just because!! Me, I prefer local shopping and my hard earned money goes back into our coffers and not somewhere else and also keeps the little guys in business. So instead of driving yourself crazy why not try some of your local merchants, you’ll be surprised just what Norwalk has to offer. Shop local folks, your neighbors depend on you!

  2. Oldtimer

    And, of course, Jack’s personality has nothing to do with his bad luck in retail business. With him, it is always somebody else’s fault. He makes it sound like nobody is spending any money. He needs to get out more and see how other retail stores are doing before he decides what his next venture will be. Martha’s vineyard in summertime and he couldn’t find any discretionary spending ? The fact is he couldn’t attract any customers. He is not stupid or afraid of hard work. He needs to look at a different business model where his personality will not define the business.

  3. Haven’t a clue what you’re talking about OldTimer. I’ve bought there several times and he was always friendly with me. So sorry to see him close up shop. “Some body’s else fault” OldTimer? Seriously? To you this economy had nothing to do with it, right? It looks like it is you, OldTimer, who looks to blame everyone else but the present administration for our economic woes. Sassafras had a nice sore too and I knew the owner there as well. Another nice man that was in SoNo for decades that had to close up. I know several other neat places that have gone out and not just in SoNo. OldTimer, for you to post that statement shows it is just a personal attack on Jack. Shame on you. We all get it, you don’t agree with him politically. Even if you don’t agree with him politically, he volunteers his time on the BOE and is involved in the community. Enough people thought well of him to vote him in, even if he doesn’t share your views OldTimer. You may or may not agree with all his votes, but he gives back to his community which is more than I can say for most of us. You posted a cheap shot OldTimer. Maybe you should add Grumpy in front of OldTimer.

  4. TG

    I agree Joanne, put your money into local small businesses. Lets try to spread the idea of purchasing one or two fewer gifts in order to offset the price difference between the big boxes and the little guys. It will also decrease consumption while helping out neighbors and stimulating our own economy.

  5. TG

    Tomorrow is small business Saturday!

  6. anonymous

    Oldtimers comments always support public workers where ever they are, police, firemen, sanitation, public school employees, all those p0eolple who get paid by the taxpayers and regardless of the job they do. Some of those people don’t have the ‘personality’ for their jobs either some are lousy at their jobs, but get raises, and retirement and fantastic benefits and cannot get fired (yes, I know, they can get fired, as long as the taxpayer pays the costs of being sued trying to fire them anyways). Oldtimer small business people not only work hard but they work hard without a safety net. Sounds like you might have been on the taxpayer gravy train for too long.

  7. Oldtimer

    It wouldn’t be the first time somebody called me grumpy, but this is not about me or about politics. Jack works hard and is not stupid. He just tried a business he is not well suited for and it is a mistake to blame the economy. There are plenty of businesses in town that depend on discretionary spending and are doing just fine. Martha’s Vineyard in summertime is a prime location to find customers with money to burn. I know someone who goes there every summer in a 52ft motor yacht that burns almost 100 gallons of fuel an hour, when he is in a hurry, and his yacht is dwarfed by the bigger motor yachts there. A jeweler with a good location in a permanent looking store rather than a very transient looking booth on the street and a well known and respected name in that business should flourish on Martha’s Vineyard. How much jewelry have you ever bought from a street peddler ? Jack needs to admit he doesn’t know everything and get expert marketing advice before he tries to break into the jewelry business in the Vineyard. The same kind of advice might turn his business in South Norwalk around.
    Jack’s efforts on the board of education certainly deserve recognition and the voters voted him back in based on that, not on his business acumen. Nobody likes to see a business fail and, even political opponents are rooting for him to do better than a going out of business sale. Such sales are carefully regulated in CT and require special permits from the state and compliance with certain rules and regulations. If he cannot avoid going out of business, I hope he has good legal advice on how to proceed.

  8. Oldtimer

    Jack’s timing is unfortunate. The reason they call the day after Thanksgiving Black Friday is that is the day most retail businesses finally get their books truly in the black and showing a real profit. The months before they just barely break even. Jack may be getting too discouraged too soon. He might be smart to reconsider going out of business until after he sees what December does for his books.

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