Tobacco shop Nat Sherman to close after 90 years

Owner Altria Group has tried to sell the Midtown store for a year

New York /
Aug.August 12, 2020 10:30 AM
Nat Sherman Townhouse and Altria Group CEO Billy Gifford (Google Maps, Altria)

Nat Sherman Townhouse and Altria Group CEO Billy Gifford (Google Maps, Altria)

Another day, another beloved New York retailer shuts its doors. This time it’s the famed tobacco shop in Midtown, Nat Sherman Townhouse.

The high-end tobacco retailer, which has operated for 90 years near the corner of 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue, will shutter on Sept. 25, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The Sherman family founded the store in 1930, and sold it to tobacco producers and marketer Altria Group in 2017. Though Altria will continue to produce and sell Nat Sherman-branded products, it’s shutting the famous storefront after the company’s year-long search for a buyer has come up short.

The boutique tobacco shop has an illustrious roster of clients ranging from politicians to executives and athletes. A handful of some of Nat Sherman’s famed clients of yore included Frank Sinatra, Humphrey Bogart, John Wayne, and today, former mayor Rudy Guiliani.

Nat Sherman’s clientele of Midtown office workers has largely evaporated, leading to a deep decline in sales. Many retailers in New York City have faced a similar fate, with an estimated 3,000 small businesses permanently closing between March and July, according to the New York Times.

Michael Herklots, vice president of Altria in charge of Nat Sherman, expressed regret. “We are as authentic to New York as Hermès is to Paris,” he told the Journal.

[WSJ] — Erin Hudson


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