Byline: Holly Haber

DALLAS — Specialty Retailers Inc., Houston, plans to close 33 Fashion Bar stores in 10 malls in the Denver metropolitan area by August, leaving the chain with a single Fashion Bar door in the city and 17 units elsewhere in Colorado.
The closures are scheduled to begin at the end of this month and will affect 350 full- and part-time employees. Approximately 20 to 30 of those people will be absorbed in the remaining store in downtown Denver and three units in nearby Boulder.
Fashion Bar’s family apparel stores in the Denver area suffered from an awkward format in which clothing for women, petites, men and juniors was displayed in adjacent stores that weren’t always connected, explained Carl Tooker, chief executive officer of SRI.
“We really didnít stand for anything,” Tooker noted. “We did a market study last year and found we had great name recognition but no loyalty.”
In addition, Tooker asserted that Denver has too many stores. “It has something like 2,500 retail square feet per capita versus an average of 1,600 retail square feet in U.S. major metropolitan areas,” he noted.
SRI bought Fashion Barís 71 stores in 1992 from the Levy family, which founded it. They included Fashion Bar family apparel stores, Stage junior apparel units and Hannah, which carried bridge clothing. SRI soon began closing the 12 Hannah stores, shutting the last one in March.