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Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Another Retailer Quits: Sconset Squares CamerArts is Selling Out

Westport is losing another longtime local retailer CamerArts, a photo and camera store in Sconset Square, is selling out to a Ridgefield retailer who will reopen it as a photo, card and gift shop.

֓The face of retailing has changed dramatically, said owner Stephen A. Schwartz, 58. ԓThe competition is stronger than it ever has been. And that makes it very, very tough.

Schwartz, who ran a learning center for photographers as well as selling cameras, photo supplies, and offering photo finishing, said he has no regrets after 23 years in the square.

ԓIve been in retailing for 35 years and itҒs time, he said. ԓEverybody in Westport has been terrific. But times change.  People are more demanding. Its hard to meet those demands and make a profit. You just max out.Ҕ

Schwartz, who lives in the Compo Beach area with wife Nancy Holson, founder of the political satire group “The News in Revue,”  said while sale of his business has been completed, hes waiting a few days to change the sign.

ғThe Fairfield County Weekly, or Advocate, whatever they call it, is coming out in a few days naming us the best photo shop in the county, he said. ԓIronic, isnt it? So weҒll keep the sign up until then.

Schwartz gained some national notoriety three years ago after Martha Stewart wrote an article in The New York Times Sunday Magazine saying she really didnԒt like Westport and intended to leave.

The CamerArts owner put up a bulletin board in his store and invited Westporters angered at her comments to post messages to her. That was fun,Ӕ he recalled with a chuckle.

Of course Stewart stayed anyway. But now its CamerArts thatҒs leaving.

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Posted 04/30/03 at 07:18 PM  Permalink



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