CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — A beloved Charleston, West Virginia, business will close the doors to its West Side location by Spring 2023.
The business has served the Charleston community for over 100 years.
Barry Ogrin with Charleston Department Store said they are closing the 1661 West Washington Street location that has operated since 2005. He said the store is “ceasing operations as a retail entity” and may reemerge as something new.
However, Ogrin said plans for reopening are unclear right now because his main priority is taking care of the store’s employees. He said the employees are like family, and that the store has been lucky to have great staff over the years.
According to Ogrin, one reason for closing is that retail vendors are pulling away from small, local businesses.
He said the pandemic taught large manufacturers they could sell online directly to consumers without relying on small merchants. The store has experienced difficulty securing items and competing with large, online vendors, Ogrin said.
He said the sportswear industry dropped around 35,000 smaller accounts just this year. “It’s always the small guys that get squeezed out,” Ogrin said.
Ogrin said he will know an exact closing date by March or April. For the next few months, the store will have big sales as part of the liquidation process.