Saturday, July 4, 2020

Coronavirus bricks and mortar retail death knell (Manna Cafe and Bakery edition)

Photo by Retiring Guty

'Not the storybook ending we had in mind,' Manna Cafe owners write in goodbye letter.  (Wisconsin State Journal, 6/15/2020)
On May 26, the day local restaurants were allowed to open at a reduced capacity, Mike Pratzel said he and Barb were meeting with their managers the next day to discuss how to proceed. 
“I don’t think anybody around here is in a hurry to open it up,” he said then. “It’s a lot of effort to change things up for a limited amount of space.” Manna, 611 N. Sherman Ave., is a community hub known for its brunch food, rich coffee, muffins, sticky buns, rugelach and other baked goods. 
In an emotional letter to customers Thursday, the Pratzels said news of the closure was hard on its staff, “and we are devastated by the challenges they will face, especially during the pandemic.”

Common Ground update starts here.

Photos by Retiring Guy

Middleton restaurant and community space Common Ground taken 'out by the knees' by COVID-19 pandemic.  (Wisconsin State Journal, 5/29/2020)
Before opening Common Ground in late 2018, Adrienne Hulburt-Stroud was a stay-at-home mom, a role she resumed when she closed her business in March due to the virus. 
“It was just strange, going from working and busy, busy, busy, running around, and then boom, a complete regression to a couple of years ago,” she said Tuesday, after she informed her Facebook community about her decision to close Common Ground.

She said she can’t completely blame the pandemic, because the business faced challenges before the virus. “It is exorbitantly expensive and difficult to get a small business off the ground, and I would be remiss if I didn’t warn any future entrepreneurs of the true financial, emotional and physical toll it takes to really build up a small business from nothing,” she wrote.

Never a good sign

6/2/2020 Tuesday Morning edition starts here

Photo by Retiring Guy

Tuesday Morning retailer files Chapter 11 bankruptcy, plans 230 store closings.  (USA Today, 5/27/2020)
The company joins a growing list of retailers that have tumbled into Chapter 11 bankruptcy during the pandemic, including J.C. Penney, Neiman Marcus and J. Crew. In each case, the companies were already in rough shape before the pandemic began due to excessive debt and declining foot traffic. 
Tuesday Morning – which sells a wide variety of merchandise including home decor, bath and body goods, crafts, food, and toys – hopes to stay in business while using the bankruptcy process to restructure its operations.

The Greenway Center store in Middleton (shown above) is already on the list.

5/25/2020 Pier 1 edition starts here

Photo by Retiring Guy

Unfortunately, the challenging retail environment has been significantly compounded by the profound impact of COVID-19, hindering our ability to secure such a buyer and requiring us to wind down,” Riesbeck said.  

Robert Riesbeck is Pier 1's CEO and chief financial officer.

5/18/2020 J C Penney edition starts here

Retiring Guy file photo

In one day

May 15, 2020 (10:38 a.m.)

May 15, 2020 (6:34 p.m.)

The West Towne and East Towne malls have not yet been slated to close.

Back in the gold old days of downtown retail.

Related posts:
JCPenney sez goodbye to Wisconsin 5 times.  (1/14/2014)

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