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By now, you've likely heard the news: C. Wonder is closing all of its stores and shutting down its e-commerce operations. And though the Soho store—the brand's most profitable, according to WWD—only has another month to go, the scene yesterday felt rather buoyant—almost eerily so.
According to staff, the Soho location will be the last to remain open of the three Manhattan C. Wonder stores, acting as a liquidation center for all merchandise in the city through the second week in February. The two others, Columbus Circle and Flatiron, will close in the next two to three weeks.
It's unclear what will replace the three C. Wonder stores—but expect them to be snatched up quickly. "All of their locations are prime and in the best neighborhoods and on the best blocks," Faith Hope Consolo, Douglas Elliman's retail group chairman, told Crain's New York. She also noted that a number of activewearwear, menswear, and makeup brands are hunting for store space—as is a little tech company called Microsoft, following their Fifth Avenue debut.
So, what's with the cheeriness? It's likely because C. Wonder's products fall on the very far end of the things-that-are-inherently-happy spectrum: Heart-shaped barrettes! Mugs with your initials on them! Fuzzy tops emblazoned with walruses wearing top hats! Glittery Christmas ornaments of dogs in sweaters!
In fact, very little seemed different about the store at all, besides the window displays blaring that everything is currently half-off. Merchandise was still plentiful and highly organized,aggressively upbeat music was playing, and there were a fair amount of shoppers (for a Tuesday afternoon, anyhow).
But while there were plenty of staffers to assist customers, we often spotted them talking in mysteriously low voices to one another (perhaps trading leads on jobs?) and fielding constant phone calls to the store. The Soho location employs about 40 people, all of whom will be out of a job once the store closes next month, and some of whom weren't told until BuzzFeed broke the news Monday night.
For now, the most pressing question of all, however, is what is going to happen to that green velvet couch and magenta motorcycle currently acting as store decor?
(Seriously, though. Should they need a home, Racked will happily adopt them as awesome office props.)