Bank of America has told the clients of its 16th Avenue South office that the branch will close its doors for good in mid-May. The branch, which had been open since the fall of 1995, is a limited-service facility that can accept only deposits and payments and consolidates its deposits with other BofA locations.
Retailers have had a relatively quiet second half of 2011 when it comes to closing stores, but the industry experts Retail Traffic talked to recently see things getting dire again in the next six months. The holiday shopping season isn't expected to bring much joy and the jobs market isn't robust enough to stave off the addition of more empty spaces.
“In 2012, I think you are going to see more small specialty stores closing, you will continue to see restaurant chains struggling and see old c-store formats starting to vacate as well,” says Andy Graiser, co-president of DJM Realty, a real estate consulting and advisory firm that specializes in restructuring and disposition. “Middle America shows no signs of recovery and seems to be more concerned with spending [its] disposable income on mortgage and car payments and putting food on the table.”
Earlier this month, we reported on the trouble brewing at the United Colors of Benetton shop in the Mall at Green Hills. Donald A. Dey and his corporate shell Uno Dey Co. had been sued by the very company that provides inventory to the upscale clothing store.
The April 29 lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court, claimed Dey and his operating company were in default of payment for nearly $200,000 in products previously delivered to the store — a violation of a 2005 license agreement between Benetton Trading and the retailer. The distributor was seeking to collect that outstanding balance, plus interest.
In Sunday's Tennessean, one of our eagle-eyed sources spotted an ad indicating the Benetton store was closing and that discounts of up to 70 percent were avaiable. Dey was contacted by phone late yesterday but said he "had nothing to report at this time."
Saturday was DaVinci's last night, General Manager Jason Bentley reports. He blamed the closure on a "double whammy," the steep recession combined with a particularly difficult stretch the restaurant endured in 2008, when the construction of the Hutton Hotel's parking garage wreaked havoc on Hayes Street.
Whitney has said earnings pressures and new regulation will lead to some lower-income customers losing access to banking services. The number of households without access to the “traditional banking system” will rise to 41 million by 2015 from 30 million in 2009, she said in the Nov. 18 note.
"We sold those sidelines," says former general manager Tony Mize, "because those margins were great and Neil Van Uum's plan was that we'd use it for inventory, but that never happened. Neil saw Davis-Kidd as a gift center. The community didn't want that, and he persisted. So it's not the failure of the consumers that's led to the store's closing, but rather the failure to listen to them."