WARWICK – Waldorf Tuxedo Co. will close the last of its stores early next year after more than eight decades in business.
Waldorf, one of the state’s best-known formal-wear retailers, opened in the 1920s and has been owned and operated by the Quirk family for more than 60 years. The late J. Kenneth Quirk Sr. started working at the store in 1927 and was the company’s president from 1959 until his retirement in 1981, according to his 2004 obituary.
An employee at the store said the company already closed its East Providence and Wakefield locations in October, with the Warwick store shuttering next month. Years ago the company had as many as seven stores, including one on Weybosset Street in Providence.
Jeff Quirk, Waldorf’s current owner, told WPRI-TV, which first reported the news, that the poor economy and changing tastes were responsible for the Warwick Avenue store’s demise.
“It’s harder to catch up to where we were the previous year and hard to survive as a small business in Rhode Island,” he said.
Quirk said Waldorf will have a going-out-of-business sale after New Year’s Day before closing its doors for good at the end of next month.