July 1, 2008

Two retail chains with stores here talk of closures...

The new Starbucks taking shape on Green Bay Road

The retail landscape may be changing soon. Two major chains with stores in Racine talked about closure plans today, although neither gave any definitive information about the stores here.

First up, Starbucks, the Seattle coffee retailer with 7,950 outlets in the U.S., announced plans to close 600 of them, those that are "underperforming." No details were forthcoming. Meanwhile, Starbucks is proceeding with plans to open a new store in the former location of Jo to Go, a drive-in coffee purveyor. Remodeling has been under way at the site for a couple of weeks. (Picture above taken on June 18.)

And then Steve and Barry's, the $10 logo sweatshirt and apparel retailer with 270 large mall stores around the country, is said to be on the brink of bankruptcy, desperately seeking $30 million to keep operating for the rest of the year.

Steve and Barry's occupied a premiere part of Regency Mall until last January, when it gave up its place for Burlington Coat Factory and made plans to move into somewhat smaller space next to JC Penney. The new Steve and Barry's opened a few weeks ago.

Regency Mall Manager Curt Pruitt said, "our company is working closely with them," and no plans for closing our new Steve and Barry's have been discussed.

Steve and Barry's before the move within Regency Mall

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