The Stores of the Past: Retail Farewells

America is slowly taking away all of the places I like to shop.  Pretty soon, there will be no store at which I can purchase my version of fashion.

Dissolved in 2015, Body Central was one of my favorites. It offered so much – cute costume jewelry, reasonably-priced dress pants, dresses for myriad different occasions, and some of my favorite cardigans, like, ever.


Another one that closed up shop in 2015, at least in my local mall, was Wet Seal. Not that I shopped there a lot following high school, but I still find it disheartening when stores can’t stay afloat.


With some stores still in existence, but no longer at my local mall, Charlotte Russe was another store that had inexpensive dress pants and an occasional nice find.  I didn’t shop there a lot, but it was nice to see the store front filled with fashions donned by generic 20-somethings.


Deb Shops. Sometimes, I’d walk in the store, but would usually become distracted by the filthy carpet and dressing rooms and walk out without having made a purchase. I found that annoyingly over-enthused prom-goers usually congregated in or near the dressing rooms. This store was removed from the Florence, Kentucky mall as well.


Vanity only opened in my mall in late 2016 and was promptly removed in early 2017. This was quite a disappointment to me, as I enjoyed their wares. It reminded me of Maurice’s, but sometimes less expensive. They carried lovely scarves, cheap, fleece-lined leggings, cute costume jewelry, and unique tops. One day, I saw a “going out of business” sign in front of the store & another note inside said they were selling all of the furniture & fixtures. So short-lived and sad.



Aerie closed in the Florence, Kentucky mall and possibly other locations. This transpired in early 2017. I saw no warning that they were closing, but saw a dark and empty store one day while visiting the mall. They sometimes had great sales, excellent prices on swimwear, and deals such as panties 7/$27.50. Also, if you purchased something at American Eagle, there was typically a 20% off coupon on the bottom of your receipt that could be used at Aerie.


Also once taking up space in the Florence, Kentucky mall, but no longer:

  • Pac Sun

Stores once located at the Dry Ridge, Kentucky Outlets, but long gone:

  • Dress Barn
  • Claire’s
  • Rue 21
  • Nike
  • Liz Claiborne
  • Factory Brand Shoes
  • Kitchen Collection

Other Florence, Kentucky stores no longer in business:

  • Family Christian Stores
  • HH Gregg
  • Circuit City
  • Radio Shack
  • K-Mart – now the location of Value City Furniture & Ashley Furniture

I find it frustrating, disappointing, and traumatizing when stores decide to close. The places we’ve frequented for years become our oases, in a sense. If only they had managed more efficiently, hired better people, had more loyal customers, and on and on.  The economy is so wacky and I will never understand why some people insist on ordering everything online as opposed to visiting a brick & mortar store to try things on in person. I am usually not satisfied when I order something from the internet and wind up having to take it to an actual store to exchange it anyway.

If I could pick only two of the above stores to resurrect, I’d go with Vanity & Body Central in a heartbeat!!





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