September 2020 Marketplace Closings
Satchel's shrinks, Stein Mart goes broke, no more new Minis, and a trio of Briarwood departures.
by Micheline Maynard
From the September, 2020 issue
Satchel's BBQ closed its location at 221 W. Liberty in August after three years in business. In an email and a Facebook post, owner Hugh Morgan wrote that "some hard decisions had to made. Parts of our business are sustainable, but other parts are weak."
He described the pandemic as "the straw that broke the camel's back" for a location that struggled since its first day of business. It failed to attract the foot traffic it needed. "Satchel's had one strong location and probably should have been happy with that," Morgan wrote.
Satchel's will continue to operate at its original location on Washtenaw and is continuing to offer catering.
Three more businesses have exited Briarwood. The August closings of Gap and Banana Republic follow a 2019 announcement by Gap Inc., parent company of both brands, that it would close 230 stores globally by the end of this year.
"Following the tremendous impact COVID-19 has had on our business while our stores were closed, the company is looking thoughtfully at our real estate to support the best path forward and will be closing several cross-brand stores across the Gap Inc. fleet," Justine Jordan, a Gap spokeswoman, writes in an email.
Olga's Kitchen, a mall tenant for decades, closed earlier. A newer Olga's survives in Washtenaw Commons across from Arborland.
Stein Mart sought bankruptcy protection in August and plans to close all 279 of its U.S. stores including the one in Maple Village. The off-price retailer will hold a going out of business sale, with merchandise initially set to be marked 30 percent off.
Mini of Ann Arbor planned to stop selling new cars in late August, but its striking, glassy building at Jackson and Zeeb won't go dark. It will continue to service Minis, sell used cars, and serve as a buying center for the Germain Motor Company, which operated Mini and also owns the Honda, Audi, Porsche and Volkswagen dealerships on State St.
[Originally published in September, 2020.]
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