Guvnor’s, the vintage clothing and accessories store at 178 5th Avenue, will be closing up shop in the next couple months. Citing a changing neighborhood demographic and a high overhead as the reasons for shuttering the space, which opened here in 2010 (and was previously next door with a different name for a couple years before that), owner Suzette Sundae explains she’s grateful for the time she’s had here, but is looking forward to having more time for creative pursuits by shifting her focus to online sales.
“Fewer and fewer of our ‘fashion-forward,’ ‘vintagista’ shoppers have been strolling in, but the strollers . . . well, those strollers continue streaming past, in endless waves of upper middle class, conservative earth tones,” she wrote in a letter posted online to address her reasons for closing the shop. “As a retailer, I’m supposed to go with that flow – but I’m just not that kinda gal, I guess. The thought of selling khaki jackets and baby buggies appeals as much to me, as eating Wonderbread dipped in milk. It wouldn’t kill me, but it wouldn’t offer the creative nourishment, that I crave. Sure, we could move to Williamsburg, or Bushwick, but what about when those neighborhoods suffer a similar ‘Conservo Scourge?'”
For those of you out there not in the market for khaki jackets, starting today all current stock in the store is deeply discounted, from 50-70% off (with a few exceptions), to liquidate a lot of their inventory, and more will be added from their warehouse space in the coming weeks.
They plan on making some inventory available on Etsy (with more to come even after the physical store closes), and acknowledge that even though online retail is part of the reason they’re closing the shop (saying “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em”), that people should still make an effort to shop at stores in the neighborhood.
“I’m telling you this, in hopes that you’ll support your local brick & mortar retailers, who have the gumption to continue serving you,” Suzette wrote. “If we don’t shop locally, someday we may have two choices, Amazon and Walmart.com.”
One last note from Suzette is the estimated current value of the space, which she says, at the going market rate of about $100 per square foot for commercial space, would be around $15,000. Here’s hoping someone out there not only has the gumption, but the cash, to serve us after Guvnor’s is gone.
Best of luck to Suzette and her staff! You can stop by to wish them well Tuesdays -Thursdays from 12-7pm, Fridays and Saturdays from 12-8pm, and Sundays from 12-7pm (note that they’re now closed on Mondays).
Photo via Guvnor’s