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"It was even busier than Christmas time." That's how Pearl River Mart president Ching Yeh Chen described this past weekend's shopping scene to Crain's New York. Customers both old and new were having a knee-jerk reaction to the news that the affordable home goods store would be leaving 477 Broadway in the wake of an insurmountable rent hike and clearing out the shelves of items like paper lanterns and straw slippers—even though they won't move out until December.
And even then, it sounds very unlikely that it's the end of the 44-year-old store (not including their e-commerce operation). Chen told the business publication that she's been fielding "countless calls" from real estate agents wanting to help Pearl River Mart downsize from its 30,000-square-foot location. The most viable option so far? Moving up to the fourth floor at the same address.
"The response is overwhelming, and it means that this is an institution in New York," Chen said. "People are convinced there's life here, that Pearl River is a name that can be continued."