One of Lakeside Mall's original tenants to call it quits

Metairie, La. --  Mel Grodsky, one of the original tenants at Lakeside Mall, has decided to close his iconic clothing store, Porter Stevens.

16 years after buying the rights to the name, Grodsky plans to close the store by November 18.

Grodsky, who along with his father opened their first store in Lakeside Mall 45 years ago, notes times have changed in retailing.  More than ever, small independent retailers must compete with the giants, such as the Macy's store that sits around the corner from his store.

"Everybody gets up and says, 'shop local, shop local' and that's a nice opinion to have," Grodsky said. "But unfortunately, a lot of our local customers are loyal to where they get the best prices. You can't blame them."

Most recently, he believes Hurricane Isaac took a bite out of business, especially among customers facing high insurance deductibles.

"They don't have any money coming to town for the shingles off their roof," Grodsky said. "So every penny's going to get back in their homes and survive."

Friday, business was booming inside the store as news spread of the impending closing.

Customers John and Janice Montelepre have five grandchildren planning weddings.  "My daughter said go to Porter Stevens and get a suit," Janice said. "Then, she called me up last night and said 'you better go get that suit, the store is closing.'"

Personal factors also weigh into Grodsky's decision to close.  At 65, he looks forward to a Thanksgiving with family and not having to "come back for the Black Friday sale at 12:00 at night."

Grodsky said he still plans to sell his popular line of shrimp boot shirts, including online.