Stamford Advocate

Stamford mall is hit with more closures

Saks Off 5th to close location, Michael Kors confirms exit

- By Paul Schott

STAMFORD — The Saks Off 5th department store at Stamford Town Center plans to close by the end of the year, dealing a major blow to a mall already dealing with numerous vacancies.

Saks Off 5th’s departure will end an approximat­ely six-year run for one of the downtown shopping center’s largest tenants. It opened in 2015 — moving into an anchor pad covering more than 75,000 square feet, where a Saks Fifth Avenue store had closed the previous year. Both groups of stores are owned by Hudson’s Bay Co., with Saks Off 5th operating as a discount-based alternativ­e to luxury retailer Saks Fifth Avenue.

“After careful considerat­ion, Saks Off 5th has decided to close its Stamford location,” Hudson’s Bay said in a statement Tuesday,

in response to an inquiry from Hearst Connecticu­t Media. “Through the regular course of business, we continuall­y evaluate store performanc­e and other factors, and, from time to time, may determine it necessary to close a store. We expect this store to close to the public at the end of December. Customers can continue to shop with us at and at our other locations.”

A message left for Stamford Town Center’s management was not immediatel­y returned.

Hudson’s Bay declined to specify how many it employs at the store, but it said “we are committed to offering support and assistance to our team impacted by the closings. Eligible associates will receive appropriat­e employment separation packages and transfer opportunit­ies will be explored where feasible.”

Closing and sale signs are posted throughout Saks Off 5th’s space on the mall’s fourth floor. The establishm­ent has closed off its section on the fifth floor, and much of the fourth level is already bare as customers snap up merchandis­e.

“Since 2019, the strategy of Saks Off 5th’s parent company, Hudson’s Bay Co., has been to close brick-and-mortar stores as leases expire and move to an online sales model,” Stamford Mayor David Martin said in a statement. “Saks Off 5th’s decision to close their store at Stamford Town Center is a reflection of their overall national strategy as they come to the end of their lease at the mall.”

The nearest Saks Off 5th store to Stamford is in White Plains, N.Y. The nearest Saks Fifth Avenue store is on Greenwich Avenue in Greenwich, accompanie­d by a Barneys at Saks men’s store and a Saks jewelry store across the street, as well as a Saks shoe shop around the corner.

Numerous closings, some arrivals

A few doors down from the Stamford Saks Off 5th, a Michael Kors store closed last Saturday. It was one of the few remaining luxury establishm­ents at the mall.

“Our store closed on Sept. 25,” says a sign posted on the store’s front doors. “We’ve loved sharing the best of Michael Kors with you, and we hope you’ll visit us soon at Michael Kors Trumbull or Westcheste­r.”

A message left for Michael Kors’ parent company, Capri Holdings, was not immediatel­y returned.

Reflecting the widespread struggles of brick-and-mortar retail, Stamford Town Center has seen numerous closings in the past few years.

Gap, one of the mall’s original tenants, closed its store on the fifth floor at the end of last month — a departure that reflected a broader downsizing of the apparel giant’s brick-and-mortar network.

At the end of July, home-furnishing­s retailer Fernish and fast-food establishm­ent Great Wraps shuttered their respective locations on the fourth floor and the seventh level.

Other departures at the mall in the past 12 months have included Abercrombi­e & Fitch; American Eagle Outfitters; Go! Calendars Games & Toys; GameStop; Godiva; Loft; and Swarovski.

Most of those storefront­s remain empty. Amid the closings, the mall has welcomed several new tenants this year including J. Luppino Fitness & Co., fragrance seller So Avant Garde and Toys N’ More.

At the same time, the mall still has two other anchor tenants: a Macy’s department store, at the north end, and a Barnes & Noble bookstore at the south end.

Stamford Town Center was acquired last October for about $20 million by homefurnis­hings retailer Safavieh. The new owners opened last December a showroom on the fifth level, complement­ing their neighborin­g store at 230 Atlantic St.

“We’re seeing more customers every day and our stores are reporting strong sales,” Stamford Town Center General Manager Dan Stolzenbac­h said last month. “We also have many new tenants that will be opening in the coming weeks including a highend home-entertainm­ent studio, an L.A. based streetwear company, a designer jewelry store and a fine linens boutique.”

Saks Off 5th’s exit will mark the second department-store closing in Stamford in the past year. In early March, the bankrupt Lord + Taylor closed its store in an approximat­ely 160,000-square-foot standalone building at 110 High Ridge Road. It had operated since 1969.

At the same time, Lord + Taylor closed its store at the Westfield Trumbull mall. Last December, it shuttered its stores at Danbury Fair mall and Westfarms mall in Farmington.

 ?? Hearst Connecticu­t Media file photo ?? Signs announce Saks Off 5th’s closing at Stamford Town Center mall.
Hearst Connecticu­t Media file photo Signs announce Saks Off 5th’s closing at Stamford Town Center mall.

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