Mannequins (that have not yet come to life) pose in the grand court at Macy’s in the Wanamaker building. | Photo by Dan McQuade
Wanamaker is a name with a lot of history in Philadelphia. John Wanamaker first got into the retail business in 1861, and he opened the grand Wanamaker Building in 1911. There has been a department store there ever since — and one with a lot of beloved Philadelphia traditions in it. The pipe organ in the Grand Court is the largest playing pipe organ in the world, and its holiday light show has delighted citizens of Philadelphia for generations. It also hosts Dickens Village, a more recent holiday affair that was once at Wanamaker’s.
Also, the Wanamaker Building played Prince & Co. in Mannequin, which for various reasons isthe greatest film ever made about Philadelphia. Now a Macy’s, the department store is just three levels — reduced from an original nine floors of retail space.
Today, Macy’s announced it had “outlined a series of initiatives to drive profitable growth, enhance shareholder value and strengthen Macy’s as America’s preferred omnichannel shopping destination.” Translation: Macy’s is closing 100 stores. (Its stock jumped at the news.) Read more »
A rendering of the expanded Occasionette interior. | Rendering by Sara Villai.
East Passyunk shoppers, we’ve got some bad news and some great news. The sad part first: One of our favorite home furnishings boutiques, Home, has shuttered its East Passyunk doors. (It moved into a shared boutique space with Occasionette around this time last year.) Although we hate to see Home go, this is great news for Occasionette, which is now doubling in size. The gift boutique will inhabit the entire space at 1825 East Passyunk Avenue, and the expanded inventory has us super excited. Read more »
Bittersweet retail news: Wilbur Vintage is closing down its South 4th Street location at end of the March. For eight years, owner Daniel Wilbur has been loyally providing Philly’s vintage lovers with hard-to-find throwback women’s apparel and accessories, but due to the increasing success of his Etsy and Instagram pages, he’s looking to transition the shop completely online. Read more »
Owner Seun and store mascot Duke the bulldog. | Image courtesy Duke & Winston.
Sad news on the retail scene: Philly lifestyle brand Duke & Winston is shuttering its Rittenhouse flagship store at the end of the month. After getting its start in a small NoLibs studio, the company lasted two years in its prominent – and spacious – Chestnut Street location, outside of which you’d often find the brand’s mascot, English bulldog Duke, lounging.
In an email, owner Seun Olubodun cited “an up & down 2015 and a coming rent increase” as reasons for the closure. But the popular local brand isn’t going away completely. Operations are moving back to Northern Liberties, where they’ll be focusing on growing their fledgling online business. The company also plans to host pop-up shops in various cities across the country. Read more »
The Japanese import shop. | Image via Facebook.
In the hubbub of the huge Macy’s announcement (refresher: The company is closing 40 stores, including the Suburban Square location), some of the smaller retail shakeups went relatively unnoticed. Here are two you should be paying attention to: Rikumo, which just opened its doors on 12th and Walnut, and Nich Boutique, which is closing its West Chester shop at the end of the month.
First, the good news: Rikumo had its soft-opening on Friday, and judging by these first snaps from our resident pap HughE Dillon, things are looking pretty great. Read more »
The year isn’t starting off on a great foot for Macy’s. A lackluster holiday quarter, in which the chain saw sales fall more than 5 percent, has resulted in the company slashing 4,800 jobs and shuttering 40 stores across the country, including the Suburban Square outpost.
Execs blame the unseasonably warm weather, which actually posed problems for many retailers (to the tune of some $400 million in lost sales). But the forecast for Macy’s was looking bleak even before the first wreaths were hung: The company lowered its full-year expectations back in August (then, they blamed it partly on a decrease in international tourism). Read more »
Inside Pileggi. | Image via Facebook.
After nine years in business, women’s boutique Pileggi is closing, owner Andrea Chila confirms. The shop will officially close its doors on February 28th. (“It’s not bad,” Chila explained on the phone. “I’m becoming a mom and have chosen to stay at home.”)
There’s no word on store-closing sales yet (that all depends on what’s left come February), but Chila does have some advice for fledgling independent shop owners: “Staying positive is definitely a key to the success of the store. I’ve made amazing friends; it was never work.”
For now, head to the shop (located at 715 Walnut Street) to scoop up clothing and accessories, like this wrap-front sweater and fur-pouf-topped chunky knit hat.
Armour’s former digs.
Well, here’s some sad news to kick off the week: Armour, the nearly two-year-old menswear boutique, has closed. The shop was one of a handful of great men’s stores to flood the scene back in 2013; ToBox, Totem and Suitsupply all opened brick-and-mortars, filling a sorely needed gap in our retail landscape. Read more »
Atelier Rittenhouse’s lovely interior. | Facebook.
It was good while it lasted, which, unfortunately, was hardly long enough: Atelier Rittenhouse is closing up shop.
The boutique — located in a gorgeous, if far too large, brownstone just off the square — is closing, owner Sharla Floyd confirmed in an email to me today. Open since this past November, the shop carried hard-to-find, ultra-luxe lines (Misha Nonoo, Katie Ermilio, Cushnie et Ochs) alongside work by female artists, primarily from PAFA. Floyd, who admitted to me that the store was a tad too spacious during a recent visit, said that she is planning to look for a smaller space. Meanwhile, she will continue to update her online store throughout the summer with artwork and a few home lines. Tip: Blowout sale on apparel.
Out with the old, in with the new. | Facebook
Last month, we called out Mushmina’s Wayne store opening as one of the most exciting happenings of April. Now, they’ve announced that they’re closing up shop at their Rittenhouse boutique and moving to Wayne full time. While we’re sad we’ll no longer be able to get our fix of Moroccan accessories and sweet fair-trade goods right here in Center City, we can report that their new location in the ‘burbs is positively gorgeous. And even better? They’re having a sale to celebrate the move. Read more »