Arts & Culture

Goodbye Loehmanns

Competition is too stiff for the discount store gem Read More

By / December 24, 2013









I can’t say I’m sad to see the group changing room go (cue anxiety), but it is quite sad to see a nearly 100-year-old department store with Jewish roots file for bankruptcy. (For the third time.)

Something about Loehmann’s closing seems like the end of an era; or at least, a further deterioration of the “American Dream” man made stores our grandparents and mothers used to schlep to for piles of cheap designer goods in overstuffed paper bags. You know the pure excitement of, “we’re going shopping!” Not, “we’re browsing on the internet and have to order this shirt so it gets here tomorrow. Oh shit, I hope it fits. It says true to size, but is it really?”

The Bronx-based store with over 39 locations, had a pretty simple business model: buying cast-offs or unsold clothes from designer brands and selling them for a fraction of the price. With online shopping stores like Gilt and Rue La Rue at the helm of our fingertips, the notion of the discount department store is becoming rapidly extinct.

Inside View estimates Loehmann’s yearly revenue is about $386 million, while Gilt, says Bloomberg, sells somewhere in the $550 million range. By comparison, Zara made $11.4 billion in 2011.”

Jeeze! Ok, it’s not peanuts, but in comparison, you can understand why they are liquidating their goods. For now, Loehmann’s doors are still open, so run in to snag some great sales–all the clothes you don’t need, but surely want.


(Photo by New York Magazine)

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