DESIGN

Pearl River Mart Soho Department Store Location Will Be Shutting Its Doors

The Pearl River Mart
(Photo : Courtesy of Facebook/ The Pearl River Mart)

Pearl River Mart, the 455 Broadway department store, will be shuttering its windows by December of this year. The renown store is being forced out of Soho due to an increase in the building's monthly rent. 

The popular shopping destination known for its affordable Chinese accessories and housewares, the Pearl River Mart has been a New York City retailer for 44 years, bringing individuals a wide assortment of products. The retailer sells everything from slippers to paper lanterns, chopsticks to furniture — the department store provided a three-story cultural experience for all.

Its Soho location opened in 2003 after shortly living on the corner of Canal and Broadway and before residing on Elizabeth Street in Chinatown since 1971. The Pearl River Mart, originally known as Chinese Native Products, was co-founded by company president Ching Yeh Chen, her husband Ming Yi Chen and a ground of student activists from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

It has been reported that Ming Yi Chen received the store's first shipment of products by cargo ship, which marked the first delivery of Chinese products to American shores in over 20 years (during the time Nixon lifted the trade embargo).

Today, the company can no longer afford to rent the popular real estate. Crains reports that the current rent for the building is over $100,000 per month and will be jumping to more than $500,000 per month in December when the stores lease expires.

"When we first opened our doors, my colleagues and I simply wanted to create a small window into the Chinese culture. The recognition we've received over these four and a half decades has been a wonderful validation of our original vision. If we did our job right, Peal River will continue to live on in the hearts and memories of our customers," stated Ming Yi Chen.

The Chinese mart does plan to continue its e-commerce site which sells over 15,000 of its specialty items, however the experience will be nothing like the one individuals receive in-store. The company employs 40 staffers and the hope is to continue to keep as many members moving forward, some having been with The Pearl River Mart for more than 20 years.

There is however talk of Nathan Baden, owner of Pearl River's retail space, to be in negotiation with the store over the expiration of its lease. There is speculation that the mart could continue to operate on just one of the building's floors, but would still ultimately mean downsizing and editing over 17,000 exotic products.

If you haven't visited this precious Manhattan shopping destination, you must do so, especially before it no longer exists. 


(Photo : Courtesy of Facebook/The Pearl River Mart )

 

 

 

 

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