Banana Republic to close Upper East Side store
62 employees to be laid off at 1529 Third Avenue
UPDATED Dec. 4, 2020, 9:26 a.m.: Banana Republic is closing its store at 1529 3rd Avenue, a new filing indicates.
The retailer filed a notice alerting the state Department of Labor of the closing, which will occur Jan. 31. Some 62 employees will lose their jobs.
The filings cite economic reasons as the cause of the dislocation.
Earlier this year, Banana Republic’s parent company Gap announced that it will close 350 of its stores — 220 of its namesake Gap shops, and 130 Banana Republic outposts — by early 2024. Additionally, the retailer plans to open 30 to 40 Old Navy stores in the next three years and to add around 100 Athleta stores to its portfolio.
“As part of our company strategy to adapt to the changing needs of the customer and growth of our online business, we are looking thoughtfully at our real estate to support the best path forward,” a Gap spokesperson said in a statement.
Banana Republic and Gap have been aggressive in insisting that rent is not owed during the coronavirus pandemic, at times taking their landlords to court.
Other retailers have similarly been struggling to keep their doors open. Century 21, which filed for bankruptcy in September, laid off employees at its Lincoln Square store Nov. 22, according to Department of Labor filings.
A notice made public Monday also shows Century 21’s Downtown Manhattan, Bay Ridge, City Point, and Rego Park stores will close around Dec. 7 and employees will be let go the same day. The same is true for two locations on Long Island — Valley Stream and Westbury. All six locations had been slated to close a week ago.
National retail chains began opening on Third Avenue en masse after the Gap broke the ice in 1990 with a store at East 66th Street, the New York Times reported in 1995. “Banana Republic, Eddie Bauer, Foot Locker, Talbots, all sorts of national chains that have long sat elbow to elbow in shopping centers have set up shop on the 15 blocks or so just north of the once super-trendy Bloomingdales department store,” the newspaper wrote.
This story was updated to add a comment from a Gap representative.