Dean & DeLuca not closing — here’s hoping

While the catering side of Dean & DeLuca is “indefinitely closed,” according to the response I got from the company, the Soho store is not — and let’s hope that’s not just wishful thinking on their part. After expanding to 42 stores globally, Soho is one of only four still open (two here and two in Honolulu, oddly), which had local folks (M., K.) wondering when the death knell would sound here. The store opened in Soho in 1977, moved to its current location in 1988 but is now headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, which, you know, might be the essence of the problem. It’s the common tale of remote corporate ownership ruining a perfectly fabulous home-grown business that for a while expanded organically and actually made money.

There’s lots of stories on what went wrong, if you want to do the deeper dive: The Times reports that the company, which is owned by Pace Development in Bangkok, has defaulted on mandated payments to former employees and stalled payments to current employees. Eater has a good historical analysis, explaining how Pace, which bought the company for $140 million, had plans — as of 2014 — to expand to hundreds of stores across 15 countries. And then the Washington Post does a broader economic analysis of why high-end grocers are no longer riding the crest of the wave; it’s the smaller discount grocers that are trending. Finally, there’s also this farewell on Grub Street, which hopefully is premature.

 

6 Comments

  1. It’s been headquartered in Wichita since the 90s. I promise that’s not the problem.

  2. Inside story. Over leveraged foreign buyer runs icon into the ground while stripping overseas assets. Stupidly, greed, ego and avarice. They company did nothing wrong and there is nothing wrong with the lux market. Its was always just slightly profitable, This is a story of non payment of bills, transfer of cash sales overseas, incompetence and greed.

    • To note there as only ever been a max of 12 retail stores in the United States, never 40+ like everyone keeps saying. They keep misquoting the same incorrect article from nearly five years ago.

      Also the SoHo location has bled money for years as has pretty much every NY location. The profitable stores were in Napa and Georgetown, DC.

      PACE Development has no business operating in the United States after what it has done to the people that worked for the brand and what it has done to the brand itself.

  3. Whether D & D stays open or not is beside the point for this tax payer – I just don’t want any US tax payer to pick up one cent of the tab…

  4. In other news…does anyone know what’s going on at Zeytuna in the Financial District? For the past month or so, the shelves have been as threadbare as the supermarket in “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

  5. Put a fork in em, they’re finished! The distribution warehouse in Wichita has laid off everyone except for a few accountants to help clean things up. Nothing is left in inventory. The flagship store in SOHO has no chance without inventory.

Comment: