PUTMAYO CLOSING COLUMBUS AVE. STORE IN N.Y.

NEW YORK — Putumayo, whose ethnic-flavored contemporary sportswear has been a mainstay of Columbus Avenue retailing for 16 years, is closing the store at the end of this month.
Its SoHo store, on Spring Street, will remain open.
Dan Storper, chairman and chief executive officer of the wholesale and retail company here, said Monday he’d been thinking about closing or moving the 1,900-square-foot store for “a while,” and refocusing the 20-year-old company on its $6 million wholesale business. It has about 500 retail accounts, he said.
Disruptive road construction along Columbus Avenue, now completed in the area of the store, which is at 341 Columbus Ave., near 76th Street, hastened the decision, he said. In addition, Putumayo started a record label over two years ago, said Storper, and that is taking more of the company’s time.
“The record label has taken off,” said Storper. “We’ve produced about 13 CDs, and we’re doing about $2 million a year in that business. We decided we can’t do everything well, so we’re just going to keep the SoHo store open to try things out, and perhaps expand our product line.”
The SoHo store, which opened in 1985, is about the same size as the Columbus Avenue unit.
“It’s been a bittersweet decision,” Storper said Monday. “We’ve been up there a long time. But when we started the store in 1979, our rent was $1,400 a month. Now, it’s $25,000 a month.”

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