Apr 9, 2015
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SoHo Chinese department store Pearl River Mart to close by year's end

Apr 9, 2015

The Chinese department store on Tuesday announced plans to close its doors at 477 Broadway by the end of the year. The independently-owned retailer has been in business for 44 years.

Citing rising rent costs and increased competition from online retailers, husband and wife principal owners/managers –Co-Founder Ming Yi Chen and President Ching Yeh Chen, respectively— have made the decision to close Pearl River at the end of their current lease in December.

The Pearl River Mart located at 477 Broadway in the heart of Manhattan's SoHo district - PRNewsFoto/Pearl River Mart

The three-level, 30,000 foot store --which employs 40 full time staff— and its online shop will continue to remain fully operational through the end of the year.

"The decision to close our store was not easy but our current business model simply isn't sustainable in today's retail landscape," stated Pearl River President Ching Yeh Chen. "Should we decide to pursue a new direction with Pearl River, it will be imperative for us to capture the unique shopping experience that our customers know and love."

Pearl River is currently exploring ways to expand its e-commerce division. In addition to significantly lowering operational costs, the transition would allow the company to continue serving its loyal customer base while also retaining many of its current staff; the majority of whom have been with Pearl River for more than two decades.

Pearl River Mart was founded in 1971 by a group of overseas Chinese student activists in a small shop in New York City’s Chinatown. The store expanded and relocated several times throughout the decades before it settled on the 477 Broadway location in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood in 2003.
As the store’s closure approaches, Pearl River will host various events to thank its loyal customers for their years of support.

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