apparel: July 2009 Archives

Mary Norton company bankrupt

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Fashion designer Mary Norton filed for bankruptcy last week, citing "harsh economic conditions." Mary Norton's stores, in Charleston, New York and Los Angeles, have all closed, a few weeks after holding extensive clearance sales. The company had also sold its fashions in an assortment of boutiques and at Saks Fifth Avenue.


Retailers finding focus

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As has been noted here on and off, retailers are focusing on their core brands in order to maximize profitability in the recession. Reuters covers this trend with an overview of many brands finding this new focus: Abercrombie, Talbots, Finish Line and others have sold or closed brands to strengthen their main offerings.

Wisely, the Reuters article notes that this may lead to innovation and new energy within the sector. "Retailers are finally realizing that they have to get their own personality back," says NPD chief industry analyst Marshal Cohen in the piece. "They are beginning to recognize 'you know what, we have to go back to who our core customer is and deliver on the promise.'"


Old and local stores, early July edition

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The economic downturn is hitting local stores especially hard. Saddest among those affected are the decades-old establishments suddenly facing bankruptcy or liquidation. Recent news affects a variety of beloved and longtime stores around the country:

  • Washington, D.C.'s Apartment Zero is closing its District location after 10 years in business. The owners vow to continue online and may open another location, but in the meantime, the items in store are being liquidated.
  • Out in Billings, Montana, Sutton's Sportswear is closing, two and a half years after its original owners sold the store. Sutton's, which made its own line of clothes, had been around since 1981.
  • Aurora, Illinois' Montgomery Ace has started its going-out-of-business sale. The store, which had been a go-to for hardware and housewares, had been operating since the 1970s. [added 2:09 p.m.]
  • And in Decatur, Illinois, 121-year-old Wyker's Toys closed for good on Tuesday. Wyker's had been family-run since 1888, when it first opened as a hardware store. The owners cite the economy and changing shopping habits as contributing to the store's demise.


Timely Demise tracks the retail industry as it changes with our unprecedented economic environment. Published by David Wertheimer. Did I miss something? Drop me a line.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the apparel category from July 2009.

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