Melody Ehsani Is Closing Her NYC Boutique Due to the Pandemic

Ella Chochrek

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After less than three years, Melody Ehsani is closing up shop in New York.

The shoe and jewelry designer announced via Instagram on July 11 that she plans to close her store in New York SoHo’s neighborhood, which opened in 2018, “due to COVID-19.” The store will be open for the next two weekends, with all inventory marked down.

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“So sad to announce that due to COVID-19, we are closing our beloved New York store,” the Instagram post read. “Setting up in NYC was a labor of love, I’m hoping we’ll be back in some capacity soon.”

After four years operating solely as an e-commerce site, Ehsani opened her first brick-and-mortar location on Los Angeles’ Fairfax Avenue in 2012, becoming the first woman to operate a store along the esteemed strip.

“I took pride in being able to usher in a more feminine presence,” she told FN. “It felt good to break up the swordfest, and I think all the guys here appreciated it equally.”

The Jordan Brand collaborator expanded to her second shop — the now-closing New York outpost — six years later.

Since the coronavirus pandemic ramped up in mid-March, government-mandated store closures and discretionary spending cuts have hit the retail sector hard, already challenged by declining foot traffic and digital disruption. According to a June report from eMarketer, overall retail sales in the United States are expected to decline by 10.5% for 2020 to $4.9 trillion. While e-commerce is projected to increase by 18%, brick-and-mortar sales are expected to fall 14% to $4.2 trillion. What’s more, a June report from Coresight Research said that as many as 20,000 to 25,000 stores could shutter their doors this year, up from a record-breaking 9,500-plus closures in 2019.

Since May, a number of boldface retailers have gone into bankruptcy, among them Neiman Marcus Group, J.Crew and JCPenney. Last week, it was reported that sister retailers Need Supply and Totokaelo plan to fold post-pandemic. Companies such as Nordstrom, Macy’s and Nike have announced job cuts in a bid to cut down on costs, with a number of retailers — including Nordstrom as well as H&M and Zara — also announcing plans to trim down their fleets.

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