After 28 years, Kid’s Closet is closing the doors to its Connecticut Avenue store in Northwest Washington.
Shopowner Lew Tipograph says the economic downturn and changing demographics of the Golden Triangle neighborhood have made it increasingly difficult to stay afloat. Today is the store’s last day.
“It’s a combination of many things — rents are going up, the area has changed, times are tough,”said Lew Tipograph, 63, who owns the shop with his wife. “We’re getting a lot more single people in the area and not as many families as we used to get.”
The Tipographs plan to open a toy store in Gaithersburg this summer. Tipo’s Toy Box will be located in the Kentlands Market Square shopping center alongside a Whole Foods and Starbucks.
“We went back and forth and realized that toy stores are doing better than clothing, so that’s the direction we’re going in,” Tipograph said.
The Montgomery County resident and his wife Sandi opened Kid’s Closet in 1982.
“At the time, my father-in-law owned a hosiery store across the street,” Tipograph, 63, said. “Customers kept asking if there was a kids’ store nearby. There was a demand for that back then.”
Tipograph says the mix of businesses along Connecticut Avenue has changed since then, making it more difficult to attract shoppers. Retail strongholds like Filene’s Basement and Talbot’s have departed, and eateries like Mari Vanna and Shake Shack have come in.
“The area has a lot of restaurants and banks and pharmacies now,” he said. “There aren’t enough stores for shopping.”
Kid’s Closet is sandwiched between womens’ clothing store Betsy Fisher and Eagle Bank. The company has had short-term lease arrangements with the building’s landlord for several years, Tipograph said.
“It’s sad for me to be leaving here,” Tipograph said. “But it’s time to move on.”