Bad news, Champaign-Urbana Banana Republic fans: the upscale women’s clothing retailer has shut its doors at Market Place Shopping Center, chambanamoms.com has learned.
Market Place General Manger Dennis Robertson told chambanamoms.com that the store closed on May 25. Banana Republic decided not to renew its lease, he said.
“It’s always disappointing to see a store leave but it does provide an opportunity for another retailer to come to the mall,” Robertson said, but added that he did not have a tenant lined up to fill that space just yet.
It’s been a difficult for year for retailers nationwide, and Champaign-Urbana stores haven’t escaped impact. Clothing retailers Eddie Bauer and The Limited both closed their Market Place operations in January. Outside of the mall, appliance giant HH Gregg has closed, and Gander Mountain is in the process of shutting down its Champaign location.
But the loss of Banana Republic will sting, especially for area men and women who depend on the chain as a staple of fashionable professional apparel. Banana Republic had been in the mall for almost 10 years, opening in fall 2007.
“I drove here and now have nothing to wear for tomorrow night,” one reader wrote to us, a bit tongue-in-cheek –but also with a tinge of sadness.
It hasn’t been all doom and gloom for Market Place when it comes to women’s clothing. Retailer Dry Goods, which is a spin out of department store Von Maur, opened there in April.
Other stores in the Gap family, including Gap and Old Navy, remain open at Market Place.
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