Wednesday, August 19, 2015
Tomorrow is the last day for Zibalee on East 13th Street
After five years, first as Jellyfish then Zibalee, the clothing store for kids closes for good after the business day tomorrow at 244 E. 13th St.
Owner Adam Kirszner told us a little more about the situation at his shop between Second Avenue and Third Avenue.
"It wasn't exactly the usual story of an impossible rent hike, although rent was no picnic and the real-estate taxes were particularly onerous. More like the growing realization that there was only so much growth that a business like mine could possibly have, especially considering my non-retail-y mid-block location and my low-margin wares," he told us via email. "And so many little annoying things that would add up to take a toll — SantaCon/St. Pat's/Halloween foolishness hurts most EV businesses that aren't bars. As you know, it's pretty much over for independent bricks-and-mortar retail around here, with increasingly rare exceptions."
Meanwhile, through tomorrow, there are some big sales on kids' clothing. (Find more details at Zibalee's Facebook page.)
And what might be next at the address?
"Brace yourself for another salon — nails, I think — coming soon," he said.
Posted by Grieve at 11:15 AM
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The KOSTUMEKULT-run SantaCon is no benefit to the East Village at all (except for a few Bud Light-serving bars that line their pockets that day) but it's a huge stretch to cite that as a notable reason for the closing of a year-round store.
Regardless, good luck to the owners in future ventures, and the rent/taxes are indeed too brutal for most small business owners here.
Sorry to see them go. Kirszner operated both stores with great care and was an asset to our community. He sold quality kids' clothing at fair prices ... actually I am in shock considering the real uptick in babies and strollers around here, but that just may be me being bitter and childless. Another nail salon is waste. East Village 2015 is snoozeville. Soon we'll have to make the neighborhood 'family friendly'.
Now that the Santacon organizers have been exposed as Figment / Kostume Kult, it will be interesting to see how they handle their shit show this year.
Hey, Brian Van: Trust me--losing a whole Saturday's worth of biz right before Christmas (because parents are smart enough not to take their kids out among the marching, chanting, puking bros that day) definitely leaves a mark! And thanks for the good wishes :)
Anon 11:49: So nice of you! Glad you liked the store!
"...it's pretty much over for independent bricks-and-mortar retail around here, with increasingly rare exceptions."
What a sad commentary on our so-called leaders who have sold the neighborhood out from under us, to sleazy developers and big corporations. Stuff like this is what the famous children's fable about "killing the goose that laid the golden eggs" was really about. We used to have a vibrant, diverse, creative community. Now we have overpriced real estate, and a bunch of phone- and alcohol-addicted college types disrespecting the neighborhood, and not much else.
Not De Blasio's fault. This didn't start two years ago. (Try 25.)
I am sorry to hear yet another small business has to close. The indie children's clothing store is rare, which is why most children look like they stepped out of the Gap Kids catalog.
Its funny how how poor people share baby clothes with family, sell them at yard sales and flea markets. Yet when the money takes over, No one can take used. By then the "community" is commodity. And the neighbor"hood" is gone. Maybe a local baby/kids clothes internet trade start up will fill the gap.
This reminds me of how Colony Records in the legendary Brill building became "Christmas Treasures," a seasonal shop on a month-to-month lease.
13th Street is just not a good location for a store.
Jane's Exchange is still hanging on and in the neighborhood. Plenty of used clothes there (and new items as well).
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