Gerry's, a popular ten year old pair of men's and women's boutiques on 8th Avenue has shut its doors with little advance notice as far as we could tell. While not quite as cutting edge as Barney's Co-op, or as sophisticated as longtime neighbor Camouflage across the street, Gerry's still filled a niche and served its neighborhood well with a strong selection of popular contemporary sportswear and denim brands, and a warm ambiance. As recently as last week, we can recall the stores being open with their usual end of season final clearance sales running. Today, however, they are gated shut, with a small notice posted in the window thanking the Chelsea neighborhood for 10 years of business. In fact, peering through the gates we could still see a store set up for regular business, with merchandise on hangers perfectly spaced on racks, so this must have come as a surprise to more than just us.
So far we have heard no specific reasons for the closure, but we can't help remembering that Gerry's also once had a small branch on Bleecker Street that was one of the first shops sent packing a few years ago when rents there skyrocketed. Last time we checked, that space was still empty. The Chelsea stores would be a much bigger chunk of real estate to sit unoccupied for a prolonged period.