It’s the end of an era for J. Crew.
When the retailer opened its Liquor Store stand-alone men’s concept a decade ago, it set a new standard for men’s wear specialty retailing and was one of the first experiential retail stores with its heritage-heavy clubby interior and third-party brands, including Red Wing shoes and Thomas Mason shirts.
It also put helped Todd Snyder, who was J. Crew’s head of men’s wear at the time, on the map. He worked with Andy Spade and then-chief executive officer Mickey Drexler to create the must-visit men’s emporium in TriBeCa. It also served to introduce the Ludlow suit model, which remains among the company’s best-selling models today.
But now a decade after opening its doors, the Liquor Store is no more. J. Crew quietly shuttered the shop at the end of March. The company said it first decided to close the store last year, adding: “Each year we review those leases that are coming to their end, and this year like last year, we made the strategic decision to close those stores where it made financial sense to do so.”
J. Crew opened a separate men’s store in Dumbo in Brooklyn last August and all told has 16 other men’s-only units. And while the Liquor Store may be gone, the Ludlow lives on in separate stores devoted to the suit and related items at another shop in TriBeCa as well as one in Boston.
J. Crew has been struggling with declining sales over the past couple of years. In March, it reported a $74.4 million loss in the fourth quarter, compared to a $34.7 million profit in the year-ago period. It is without a chief executive officer, and it closed 34 stores last year with another 20 planned to be shuttered this year.