Beloved Chicago men’s specialty store Haberdash will close its doors by the end of January 2016.
The 10-year-old shop, located on State Street in Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood, was known for featuring both its own proprietary brands of shirting fabric and bespoke jackets, as well as such well-known brands as Alden footwear, Converse sneakers and C.P. Company sportswear.
“The retail business is really challenging now. We weren’t making money and so the time came that we had to say enough,” co-owner Jerry Kamhi told MR. “We don’t see the improvement in the economy here in Chicago that some people talk about. The weather this past fall and winter did not cooperate. Chicago is raising taxes and fees, we have social unrest here, and the vast majority of our business was actually from visitors from other parts of the country and the world, rather than men from Chicago. In the end, keeping the store open in this environment was too formidable a challenge to overcome.”
Kamhi adds that the e-commerce section of the business was equally difficult. “It is not a panacea, nor is it what it is cracked up to be,” he says. “The constant need to update technology is quite costly.”
Kamhi says he and business partner Adam Belzman do have mixed feelings about shutting their doors, and that Belzman might look for a new space. “We are proud of what we did accomplish in our 10-year run,” he says. “Lots of things did work. Our private-label brands were our best-sellers. And a lot of customers are coming in and telling us they will miss us and that we are the best men’s store in Chicago. It’s hard to see our dreams dissipate. But there’s really been a revolution in retailing, and like many people, we couldn’t figure out how to create a store experience where you tell the narrative and make the emotional connection with your customers, but still do it in a contained expense function.”