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J. Crew closing Hanover store following bankruptcy filing

Valley News Business Writer
Published: 6/25/2020 9:24:49 PM
Modified: 6/25/2020 9:24:43 PM

HANOVER — The J. Crew apparel store in downtown Hanover will close at the end of the month, becoming the latest retail casualty in the coronavirus pandemic that has already claimed numerous storefronts in the Upper Valley.

Dartmouth College spokeswoman Diana Lawrence confirmed that the J. Crew store will close June 30. Dartmouth owns the South Main Street building in which the retailer leases the ground-floor space, which had earlier been occupied by a Gap store outlet.

The closing comes just as another apparel store, FatFace, is scheduled to open across the street from J. Crew on July 9, a spokeswoman for the company said.

FatFace, a U.K.-based retailer that has been opening outlets in the U.S., had initially hoped to have its new Hanover store open this spring before COVID-19 pushed back the date.

Like most businesses in downtown Hanover, J. Crew has been hurt by the absence of Dartmouth students on campus. The store opened in 2012, during the period when Katherine Drexler, daughter of then-J. Crew CEO Mickey Drexler, was a student at Dartmouth.

But the closing of J. Crew, which occupies 4,500 square feet, creates the largest retail vacancy in downtown Hanover since the Dartmouth Bookstore closed in 2018. That space was eventually divided into three separate retail spaces to help attract tenants.

The closing of J. Crew does not exactly come as a surprise: The parent company, J. Crew Group Inc., filed for bankruptcy in May, and the closing of many of its nearly 500 J. Crew and sister Madewell stores was expected. The J. Crew brand been suffered from declining sales and a heavy debt load for several years.

Since coronavirus swept the country, Hanover has lost four restaurants: Salt hill Pub, The Skinny Pancake, Noodle Station and Morano Gelato. The remaining restaurants have reopened but under pandemic protocols that limit indoor seating.

In addition, there remain several vacant retail shops in Hanover created by store closings in recent years.

Contact John Lippman at jlippman@vnews.com.




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