2 more Manchester businesses announce closings

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MANCHESTER — Two more major national retailers are expected to close their Manchester locations after their parent company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

A month after G.H. Bass announced the closing of all of its 89 stores, including the Manchester location, two more retailers are slated to fall victim to the rough economy.

The Ann Taylor Factory store at 16 Wyman Lane and the Loft Outlet store at 301 Depot St., both in Manchester, are part of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing by the Ascena Retail Group a week ago.

The Chapter 11 announcement came with the warning that the company would be closing 1,100 "under-performing stores."

All three of the locations are tenants of the Manchester Designer Outlets.

On Wednesday, MDO President Lana Hauben said the retail industry, like the rest of society, is dealing with something nobody has ever experienced before.

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Hauben said she was speaking with a person in Paris on Tuesday and they said it was "weirdly quiet."

"I know people are very anxious and depressed," Hauben said. "Nobody wants to see what's going on, but we have to keep our wits about us."

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She said the only way out of the economic cycle is to get the virus under control.

"The pandemic has got to be arrested," Hauben said. "People have to try as best as they can to be safe and help everybody around them be safe. This isn't a joke and the economic problems are a direct result of this pandemic."

She said nobody knows what lies ahead.

"Nobody knows what opportunities lie around the corner when that is over," Hauben said. "There will be some changes and it may be different businesses and institutions. Something could come along that nobody knows of yet."

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Mostly, Hauben said, she knows that Manchester will survive.

"The fact that a couple of stores are closing is unfortunate," Hauben said. "But Manchester is a very special place. People have been coming since the late 1800s. We're in a beautiful environment steeped in nature and surrounded by hills and water and valleys. That won't be any different when this is over."

Her main concern is for the people of Manchester.

"We cannot panic, we have to rely upon our relationships now more than ever," Hauben said. "My main concern for this community is that everybody is healthy and safe, that goes for my employees, our customers and our neighbors."

Contact Darren Marcy at dmarcy@manchesterjournal.com or by cell at 802-681-6534.


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