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Back to the ‘Burbs: Some Retailers Exit Downtown

Large brands opt to put smaller stores in outlying areas.




iStock, hallojulie
iStock, hallojulie

Many cities are struggling with a post-pandemic surplus of obsolete older office buildings that are likely to remain empty as workers stay home to do their jobs. As a result, some major retail brands are choosing to open smaller suburban locations over downtowns and malls, reports.

That trend is reflected in a just-issued report from JPMorgan Chase titled “Downtown Downturn: The Covid Shock to Brick-and Mortar Retail.”  Several major urban markets, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Seattle and Miami, had fewer retail establishments in the last quarter of 2021 than before the pandemic, JPMorgan reported.

In its story on this trend, news site Bloomberg cited specialty apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch’s decision not to reopen its large store in Chicago’s Water Tower Place. Instead, at the end of 2021, Abercrombie & Fitch opened a new, smaller boutique-style shop in the city’s Lakeview neighborhood.

Overall, the apparel sector closed 750 stores in total in 2022, but it also saw the second-highest total of store openings—nearly 1400—with many of these new stores in suburban locations, according to Coresight Research data.

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This Third-Generation Jeweler Was Ready for Retirement. He Called Wilkerson

Retirement is never easy, especially when it means the end to a business that was founded in 1884. But for Laura and Sam Sipe, it was time to put their own needs first. They decided to close J.C. Sipe Jewelers, one of Indianapolis’ most trusted names in fine jewelry, and call Wilkerson. “Laura and I decided the conditions were right,” says Sam. Wilkerson handled every detail in their going-out-of-business sale, from marketing to manning the sales floor. “The main goal was to sell our existing inventory that’s all paid for and turn that into cash for our retirement,” says Sam. “It’s been very, very productive.” Would they recommend Wilkerson to other jewelers who want to enjoy their golden years? Absolutely! “Call Wilkerson,” says Laura. “They can help you achieve your goals so you’ll be able to move into retirement comfortably.”

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