Owner looking to pass on the mantle of iconic Ashland store

ASHLAND, Ore.–  A staple of the downtown Ashland business scene, with a history to boot, is wrapping up shop this year as it’s owner looks to retire. After more than four decades of business, owner Ken Silverman says he will no longer own the business after January 2020.

However, he’s hoping someone out there might take up the mantle.

Silverman took ownership of Nimbus 44 years ago. Since then, he’s worked to curate its niche market in downtown Ashland by providing a bevy of items hard to find anywhere else in the valley. Most of what he sells is men and women’s clothing designed in Europe. He even holds a gallery where he supports work from both local and national artists.

But after so much time Silverman is planning to retire.

“I feel ok for me retiring, that’s what I wanted for me,” he said. “But what I want for Ashland would be that something would come in here.”

Silverman says he is selling off all his inventory but sent out an email to his following with a golden opportunity.

“I just was throwing it out there and I said bid starts at $10,000 cause I knew that was a very low number to buy a shop,” he said. “I wanted to intrigue people.”

He isn’t actually holding an auction for the store but Silverman is hoping to drum up attention so someone might take it. He says with averages of over a million dollars in sales, an online store already set up, and a prime spot downtown – someone can make it work.

“Now they wouldn’t have to keep the name ‘Nimbus,'” he said. “They wouldn’t have to carry what I carried. Part of being a boutique owner is you get to make your own choices.”

Silverman says any willing entrepreneur will have to still renegotiate the lease on the building. But he’s says he is happy to work as a consultant for those interested and provide support with his years of experience about what works. He says he even has an idea to help make the space more profitable by downsizing the entire space to one room and filling it with the best selling merchandise.

Since he announced his retirement, he’s spoken with a few potential buyers but nothing ever solidified. He says he recognized the competition nowadays from online shopping but he still believes brick-and-mortar stores will have a place, especially in towns like Ashland.

If nothing happens before the end of his lease in January and he closes his doors without a deal, he’s afraid of what this effect could have on the rest of the downtown center.

“It’s important downtown Ashland has some activity, some good product, it should add to the town,” he said. “An empty space only detracts.”

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