J.Crew to close Aspen store at end of April
The J.Crew store in Aspen will close at the end of April amid financial struggles for the apparel retailer that started as a catalog business in the 1980s.
Located on two levels at 205 S. Mill St. since mid-2008, J.Crew’s retail space is being advertised for rent by commercial broker Karen Setterfield.
“It’s a corporate decision,” said Setterfield on Friday. “We reached out to them to see if they wanted to stay in the summer or longer, but they didn’t want to.”
Employees at the Aspen store, which had phased out its men’s inventory in recent years, said corporate policy precluded them from talking to the media. The New York-based company did not respond to a media inquiry seeking explanation for the Aspen store’s pending closures.
In its third quarter report released Nov. 21, the retailer’s parent company, J Crew Group Inc. (NYSE:JCG), which also sells Madewell women’s clothing, disclosed that it closed 11 J.Crew shops during that period. Another 39 stores were projected to be closed in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017, the report said. As of Nov. 21, there were 269 J.Crew retail stores and 182 factory stores, according to the report.
The parent company also reported J.Crew saw a 12 percent decrease in the third quarter sales to $430.4 million, compared with a 9 percent decrease in the third quarter of fiscal 2016.
Other clothing retailers, such as Gap Inc. and Abercrombie & Fitch, reported third quarter gains, “But at J.Crew brand, shoppers remain AWOL,” fortune.com noted in November. “The chain has been trying to carve out a new space for itself in shoppers’ intentions, hurt by years of fashion misfires, uneven quality and what many consumers perceived as overly high prices.”
J.Crew will be leaving a building, owned by Tony Mazza and Frank Woods, that once housed the Hyatt Grand Aspen sales office and before that, an Eddie Bauer clothing store.
“It’s the ebb and flow of the normal business in Aspen,” Setterfield said. “These businesses come and go. It happens.”
The courtyard level and street level of the J.Crew location, which closed to the public during a portion of a day over the recent Christmas holidays to allow pop singer Mariah Carey go on a private shopping spree, have an identical amount of space — 1,435 square feet. The street level is being marketed for $200 a square foot, the courtyard level $50, Setterfield said. Tenants also will be responsible for triple net, which includes building maintenance costs.
Each level could be rented together or separately, according to Setterfield.
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An unwelcome but familiar weather pattern in the Aspen-area mountains has created conditions that are once again ripe for avalanches. The early, ample snow in October was followed by dry periods. That resulted in a poor foundation for the snowpack. Steep slopes on north to east aspects pose the greatest threat.