Ron robinson to cease brick-and-mortar operations

by Stephen Garner

After 41-years in the industry, retail icon Ron Robinson has announced a farewell to his brick-and-mortar retail stores in early 2020.

Robinson’s flagship in Santa Monica is scheduled to cease operations by the end of October. The 5,600 square-foot Ron Robinson shop in the former Fred Segal compound on Los Angeles’ Melrose Avenue will remain open through January.

Robinson said he will remain committed to continuing the online boutique at RonRobinson.com and his home and personal fine fragrance collection Apothia.

While the decision to move beyond his Melrose Avenue and flagship Santa Monica locations may come as a shock to some, the decision was not forced, but rather pre-planned with purpose and intention.  “I am immensely proud of the success that I and our exceptional team have achieved,” Robinson says. “Now in our 41st year, my original dream is a reality – we have achieved a milestone and pinnacle within our industry. We are doing this while at the top of our game, and that is a super way to remember it. In this season of my life, the time feels right to make room for fresh experiences. Life, as they say, is a journey, and I feel myself being pulled more and more toward new adventures, new ways of reconnecting with my family and friends, new ways of expressing my creative vision.”

Ron in his Melrose shop in front of his then New Hero color wall.

But, the L.A.-based retailer is not planning to slow down anytime soon. Loyal customers, the fashion and design community, media, and fans worldwide still have much to look forward to, as the not-to-be-missed December grand finale and farewell party approaches, which Robinson has named “A Happy Ending”.  “It is important that people know what this transition is and what it is not,” explains Robinson. “It is NOT bankruptcy, losing our lease, going out of business, or a relocation sale – this IS the way my journey is unfolding, so let’s enjoy what has been accomplished and have a happy ending!”

The closing of the retailer’s brick-and-mortar shops marks the end of an era in Los Angeles boutique retailing. Robinson was one of a handful of Los Angeles boutique retailers who started their business in the late 1970s and early 1980s, developing boutiques with celebrity followings that became influential around the globe.

So for now, Robinson encourages everyone to join him and his beloved team for the momentous farewell event!  “I look forward to celebrating this memorable milestone with the community,” continues Robinson.  “After reading many famous quotes about how things begin and end, I am most moved by the simplicity and perfection of these words by Dr. Seuss: ‘Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened’.”

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