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Sad news from Larchmont Boulevard, where more of the neighborhood's retailers have fallen prey to the tough economy. We've learned that Spirituali will be shutting its doors in two weeks, following the closure of its Melrose Avenue shop in April. Management confirmed that "business has been bad for the whole street," but assured us that they're viewing the closure as "a good thing," with plans to re-emerge in some form after taking a few months to plot their next steps. During its final days, everything in the store is 50-70% off, from scented candles to scarves and the shop's in-house jewelry line.
Across the street, lingerie boutique Petticoats has also closed, moving to its own dedicated space in sister shop Pickett Fences. "The economy forced us to make tough decisions, just like most other retailers in the city," says store owner Joane Pickett, whose boutique has been a Larchmont fixture for the past 15 years. Petticoats is set to remain part of Pickett Fences indefinitely, as Pickett confirms that "lingerie is going to be a huge part of our mix here."
These closures bring the total of empty Larchmont storefronts to nine, which, as we reported in April, is largely due to the arrival of property developer Albert Mizrahi, who bought a cluster of buildings in the area and promptly raised their rents. But according to Pickett, the developer's plans went awry at the same time as the economy did. "The new landlord doubled and tripled the rents on his spaces, then thought he'd be able to lease them at the new rate. But it turns out there haven't been any takers, the prices still haven't dropped, and we lost some really great businesses as a result."
While shops like Larchmont Hardware and Floret have been forced to decamp for new pastures or close altogether, custom framing company A Silver Lining is an exception - it was lucky enough to snag the former Petticoats space a few doors down, making it one of a dwindling number of businesses that have been spared for now.
· Big-Time Developer Taking Over Larchmont Village, Independent Retailers Suffer [Racked LA]
· Neighborhood Watch: Spirituali, Gas Bijoux Closing [Racked LA]
· Pickett Fences [Official Site]
· Petticoats Lingerie [Official Site]