Wednesday, July 08, 2009

I'm A High End Retailer, Get Me Out Of Here!

I would appear the slumming experiment is over for Marrimekko. According to the company absconded from their Ellsworth & Georgia location in the dead of night with little fanfare or warning, like a Finnish Robert Irsay.

When it opened in 2007, ours was just the third Marimekko Concept Store in the U.S., with the others located in Miami and Cambridge, Mass. Only one store, in Manhattan, has opened since. While I admit that I never personally purchased anything from Marrimekko, its existence was at least a source of bragging rights for Silver Spring. If the store re-opens in Bethesda, Clarendon, or somewhere similar, it will be a real slap in the face.

The difference between this and past DTSS store closings, which included Storehouse Furniture, Bombay Company and Ritz Camera, is that the action wasn't part of a chain-wide bankruptcy. It would appear that the Silver Spring store itself just wasn't cutting it. I'm not sure why they made the decision to open a shop that sold $50/yard fabric in Silver Spring in the first place, but to have it taken away after two years is kind of a black mark on our retail record.

So now what? Again according to, the Pyramid Atlantic retail store may be moving to that corner, at least on a temporary basis. That's nice for them and all, but at some point Peterson needs to get permanent, paying tenants in these spaces. I imagine if they could have filled the Bombay/P.A. space after all this time, they would have. If someone's interested in partnering with me to start a cupcake/coffee/gelato joint in that location, let me know. No, really, I'd do that in a second.

Let's just hope it doesn't get bad enough that we get a dollar store on The Promenade. Don't laugh, it could happen.

And now, once again, the official Silver Spring Retail Fail theme song:


Springvale Roader said...

I always thought that was a weird location for Marrimekko. Foot traffic seems more conducive to food and drink or drugstore/what-you need-to-pick-up-on- your-way-home type stuff.

But this is not a good trend. Has anyone else been bothered by the fact that the store on Colesville next to the liquor store is still empty after several years (you know, the one that sold medical supplies and had a poster of a kid breathing into a tube on the front window)? With all the foot traffic going past, it's a prime location.

Dark clouds seem to be gathering over our fair burg.

P.S. Sligo, if I had the spare bucks I'd go in on that store with you. Alas, 'tis not the case. My 401k is now a 300j, at best.

WashingtonGardener said...

I don;t think this is an SS only problem. Considering the death of some great stores at Mazza (aka Marriet Kassman) that survived previous rough times, I'm not surprised at Marrimekko - no one can afford to buy this stuff now.

Tina & Drew said...

Anthropologie please, that would be a primo spot... Hmmm otherwise I'd take a William and Sonoma.

skijmpr said...

As long as it doesn't morph into another hair salon :/

Anonymous said...


Silver Spring is not a good market for high-end retailers anyway. I mean, Hello, the income per capita is much higher in Bethesda or Rockville.

Anyway, I am just thrilled that the real estate developers have empty store rooms. Empty $2,500 one-bedroom condos with the granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. Empty profits. And empty credit lines to Wall Street banks. Gentrification of Silver Spring=Epic Failure.

Get a few more pawn shops and liquor stores at bottom bargain rents and I will welcome the old Silver Spring back! I really miss the real Silver Spring.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the problem with Marrimekko was so much the location as the concept and execution of the store. The store didn't really communicate clearly to people walking by what they were selling. So they weren't capitalizing on foot traffic. Maybe other areas have higher incomes, but Silver Spring has plenty of condos and apartments with fairly well-paid professionals.
On several occasions I thought I might go in and maybe pick up some sewing supplies (OK, not a high end purchase, but still) and even at a time that anyone would consider routine business hours (11:30 AM on a Saturday) the store was closed, no business hours posted.

Silver Spring could really use a retailer with a good selection of kitchen supplies, nice linens...maybe some kind of store selling outdoor gear or a better selection of professional clothing, but what would make me swoon in that location would be TEAISM.