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Store closures are business as usual for New York City retail, but within the past three months, five announcements in particular have stood out from the rest. Though the stores vary in age and target demographic, all five were quirky and filled with personality, and their closures will make a real impact on the New York City shopping landscape.
Earlier this week, Daffy's announced that it would be shuttering all 19 of its locations this fall. The news wasn't exactly a surprise; the company has been in dire financial trouble and its CEO was even considering selling it off. Instead, they chose to go the liquidation route, leaving a division of New Yorkers saddened by the fact that the company's cheeky advertisements and discounted goods would soon cease to exist. Critics blamed Daffy's out-dated business model of selling off-season wares, and though that didn't work out well for Filene's, Century21 is still alive and well—proving that it can be done, but unfortunately, no longer at Daffy's.
It was a really bad day for teenage girls and nostalgic adults when Betsey Johnson announced that its four New York stores would succumb to liquidation. Each location is currently in the final throes of selling off whatever's left, which includes the mannequins and fixtures. Some argue that the line hasn't been fashion-forward since the '90s, but for every naysayer, a rebuttal can be found in the form of a party-dress wearing Betsey Johnson fangirl.
Built by Wendy
After 14 years, Built by Wendy has decided to close its Centre Street flagship and move strictly to a wholesale and online model. We hear that the reason for the closure was a pricey lease, but Wendy Mullin doesn't seem to have plans to reopen elsewhere anytime soon. Instead, she's heading to Paris to work on a children's line that will debut in 2013. So, all is definitely not lost, but those who favored handpicking their Wendy wardrobe at the downtown store will be forced to go without.
Sure, there's plenty of places to buy furniture in Manhattan, but Conran's has always been an iconic destination. The brand's 59th Street flagship closed in 2010, which prompted a move to the lower level of ABC Carpet & Home on Broadway. However, the company announced at the end of June that it would be vacating the premises. A rep said they'd hopefully reopen if the right location was discovered, but since the New York store was the only outpost in the U.S., the country is currently Conran-less.
Unless you live uptown, it's possible you've never stepped foot inside Lascoff Drugs on the Upper East Side. But on an island jam-packed with Duane Reades and Walgreens, Lascoff's 113-year history meant something. From the beginning, the pharmacy's owner was a purist at heart—Forgotten New York reports that he forbade an in-store soda fountain, when those were all the rage in drugstores. In the end, that seemed not to matter: Lascoff's was the first licensed pharmacy in New York state, and it lived to see a century of business.