Outdoor Traders owners Dick and Jean Hoyt are bidding farewell to the Greenwich retail business on their own terms.

“We don’t feel old enough to retire,” Jean Hoyt said Monday afternoon, in between tagging items for the store’s upcoming closing sale. “But we’re leaving on a high note. This isn’t a fire sale. We don’t have any health or financial issues. We’re just ready to move on.”

While taking a break from preparing for the sale that begins Thursday at 10 a.m., the couple reminisced on almost 30 years of owning their Greenwich sporting good and ski rental store that served families all over Fairfield County.

In the way only a couple who’s worked together for so long could, Dick and Jean Hoyt together told the story of how they went from working as the vice president of marketing at Revlon and an independent Wall Street trader, respectively, to buying the “iconic” Outdoor Traders trademark and opening on Greenwich Avenue in 1989.

“My family has a history of starting things,” Dick Hoyt said, referencing his grandfather, who founded Whirlpool Corp. more than a century ago. Yet “I never would have imagined myself doing this,” he said of running a business.

The idea to re-open Outdoor Traders, which had begun as a small fishing and gun store in 1947 and risen to prominence on East Putnam Avenue, came up in the late 1980s, Dick Hoyt said. Not long after, the couple opened in a small space near the top of Greenwich Avenue. In 2002, they bought their current building at 55 Arch St., located near the bottom of the shopping strip.

“We immediately saw the benefit of 23 parking spaces,” Jean Hoyt said about the Arch Street location. “Our business immediately went up 40 percent,” her husband added, finishing her thought. The four-story walk-up isn’t ideal for toting around heavy equipment and products, but “it is good for the legs,” Jean Hoyt said.

While discussing how they stayed in business for so long, riding out tough times such as the Great Recession in 2008 and warm winters that detract from their most lucrative season, the couple emphasized several things — the trust they’ve gained from the community, a carefully curated inventory and, “if something didn’t work, we moved on,” Jean Hoyt said.

The 2008 economic downturn was “stressful,” Dick Hoyt emphasized, but they got through it partially by doing something they’d never done before — starting their sale before Christmas. “We were really proactive with our decisions about inventory,” Jean Hoyt said.

Overshadowing the tough times are many fond memories and valuable lessons learned, the Hoyts said. “The service business makes you aware of human behavior,” Jean Hoyt said, adding working in retail helped her overcome her shy tendencies.

The business owners had been looking for a buyer for the store for several years, Dick Hoyt said, but it didn’t stir up any interest. “Brick and mortar isn’t a shaker and baker right now,” he said.

So they contracted Stamford-based commercial real estate company Rhys to sell the property. The retirement sale, which will last through July 4, and includes “everything to the studs,” will empty out the building for the next owner, Dick Hoyt said.

For what they plan to do next with their careers, Jean Hoyt said they’re “not in a rush to figure out that one. ... We will compose the next part of our lives, and it will be an active life,” she said.

“For the first time, we’re not going to something,” Dick Hoyt added. “We’re looking forward to getting the day after Christmas back,” his wife said with finality.

Contact the writer at mbennett@greenwichtime.com