Carnegie Hill Retailers Struggle

January 8, 2009 by Lila Delilah

I hopped north 86th street today and was totally shocked by what I found. It appears as if almost every other store is either relocating or going out of business.

On the North-West corner of Madison and 86th Street is Baltons–a fairly unremarkable department store mostly supported by grandmothers and nannies. The loud yellow signs covering every window of the store shout that the store is closing and that everything is 30% to 50% off.

Steps North on the same block, Village Designer Shoes has a bright orange sign that screams, “Co-op tripling our rent. Everything must go.”

If you take a few more paces North, Feldman’s IV, the long-loved home furnishings and miscellaneous store –if you know the goods you know miscellaneous is the right word– has a sign announcing that they are moving to Lexington. That store has been there longer than I’m alive!

On the same block, Didi’s Children’s Boutique, an upscale toy store is hosting a 30% to 50% off sale. Why? Because they are moving. To where? The owner admitted sadly that she still does not know. For those in the market for fancy European toys, these are heavily discounted considering this toy segment rarely hosts a markdown. For example, Carolle dolls and accessories are 30% off. Unheard of!

For now we say farewell to those leaving our lovely avenue. You will always remain in a place in our hearts and memories. Especially Boltons, whose employees refused my 2-year-old a restroom. Serves you right!

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