Conran shop closing in NYC
Retail Editor 2 -- Home Textiles Today, July 5, 2012
New York - Conran's is leaving America...again.
The Conran Shop, which moved into the basement level of ABC Home two years ago, is closing up shop this month. It has not officially announced the news, but store personnel confirmed the store will close on July 15th. It is conducting a huge clearance which it bills as a "Summer Sale." The online shopping blog, Racked, reported the news several days ago.
For Conran, once a groundbreaking retailer in contemporary home furnishings, this marks a quiet retreat from the American market, its second since it originally opened in the early 1980s. At the time, it operated under the Conran's name after it could not get the rights to its business name in Europe, Habitat. Founded and led by the legendary Terrence Conran - now Sir Terrence - it was in the forefront of the modern design field and it remains so with Conran Shop stores in Europe and Japan.
However, the American operation eventually faltered, and after a sale to a group of former Bloomingdale's executives led by Marvin Traub, it shut down in the 1990s.
But Conran returned to American shores in 2000 with the opening of a new store in the shadows of New York City's Queensboro Bridge, where it remained until moving to the ABC location. Its ABC space was severely truncated and its assortment curtailed so as to not conflict with the merchandise upstairs at ABC. As a private company, Conran never commented on its American business, but on random visits to the store, it was rarely crowded and its space was awkwardly configured.
ABC Home could not be reached for its plans for the space, which the store had occupied with a variety of merchandising classifications before giving it over to Conran.
As for the Conran brand, it won't disappear from the American marketplace entirely. In May, JCPenney announced Conran would be among its new stable of home brands. Earlier this week, Terrence Conran announced the JCP line will include furniture, upholstery, lighting, textiles and accessories. It is set to launch next spring in 300 stores and online.
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