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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Musler’s in Schenectady Shuts Down After Nearly a Century in Operation

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SCHENECTADY — Peter Musler, a beloved figure in the local community, has been at the heart of customer service for half a century, earning the affection of his loyal clientele.

“Peter’s store is more than just a place to buy clothes, it’s a place to engage in lively conversation and feel welcomed,” shared Peggy King, a Schenectady resident and former City Council member. “Our chats about politics and city affairs are always a highlight of my visits.”

However, the era of these friendly encounters at Musler’s Fine Women’s Wear, located at 1726 Union St., is drawing to a close. Musler recently revealed that the family-run business, which has been a staple in the community since its establishment in the Proctors Arcade in 1926, will be shutting its doors in the coming two months.

“Reaching a century in business would have been a remarkable achievement, but 98 years is still a significant milestone,” Musler reflected. “The decision to close has been a tough one, but at 74, I feel it’s time to step back and enjoy my retirement.”

Long-time customer Marge Rizzo of Glenville, who has been a patron of Musler’s for over two decades, expressed her sadness over the closure. She will miss not only the unique merchandise but also Musler’s honest fashion advice.

“Peter always prioritized the customer’s needs,” Rizzo said. “He was never afraid to tell you if something didn’t suit you. He genuinely cared about his customers and wanted them to leave his store feeling confident and stylish.”

Rizzo also mentioned that her husband was a frequent shopper at Musler’s, often engaging in sports discussions with Peter while she shopped.

Musler himself admitted that interacting with his customers was the most rewarding aspect of his business.

“Building relationships with my customers and learning about their lives has always been a joy for me,” he said. “I believe my people skills are my greatest strength.”

Vicki Parker, a retired Schenectady teacher, has been a loyal customer for 25 years.

“I was drawn to the store by a beautiful dress in the window and have been a regular ever since,” Parker recalled. “Peter’s collection is unique and stylish. It’s a shame he’s closing. I always looked forward to our chats.”

The store was originally opened by Musler’s grandfather, Jules Musler, in 1926. Peter’s father, Jay Musler, joined the business in 1947 and oversaw the relocation to Union Street in 1991. Peter, after completing his education and gaining experience in the retail industry, returned to Schenectady in 1974 to join the family business.

“We had a larger operation and more employees when we were next to Proctors,” Musler reminisced. “Now it’s just me and a few friends who help out when needed. I’m grateful for the wonderful memories and the opportunity to serve multiple generations of families in the Capital Region.”

Musler’s son, who resides in Florida, chose not to continue the family business.

“My son has a great job in Florida and he wants me to join him there,” Musler shared. “I never pushed him to join the business, just as my father did with me. But once I started working in the store, I discovered my passion for customer service.”

Musler anticipates the store will officially close in the next month or early March.

“I aim to sell as much of the remaining stock as possible,” he said. “I have so many people to thank. My customers have brought me immense joy and happiness, and I want to express my gratitude for their support over the years.”

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Emily Stanton
Emily Stanton
Emily Stanton, a skillful journalist previously based in Boston, is adept at covering a diverse array of stories. Her thorough and engaging reporting style, honed with a Master's in Journalism from Boston University, focuses on community-relevant stories.
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