Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Pottery Barn is latest to quit Newbury St.

Newbury Street is in trouble.

After two decades on Newbury Street, home furnishings chain Pottery Barn is moving out of its digs, the latest in a series of merchants to exit the Back Bay retail district.

The Boston Globe says declining sales and high rents squeeze shops.

"We will not be renewing the lease in this location. Our plans for additional Pottery Barn stores in the area are not clear, and so therefore I am not able to speculate," spokeswoman Stephanie O'Brien said.

Earlier this year, Pottery Barn left South Shore Plaza in Braintree, along with its sister chain Williams-Sonoma.
The parent company, Williams-Sonoma Inc., took a series of actions recently to slash costs, including cutting the workforce by 18 percent, closing a call center in Pennsylvania, and shuttering a distribution facility in Tennessee. Pottery Barn still operates stores in the Atrium at Chestnut Hill and the Burlington Mall.

Still, the departure of Pottery Barn from Newbury Street, with more than 7,200 square feet, will leave a large hole in this Back Bay shopping mecca, which has been hit hard by the current recession.

Many store owners have blamed declining sales and exorbitant rents for their struggles in what used to be Boston's hottest address for trendy boutiques.