Monday, February 18, 2013


Crate and Barrel has closed forever at Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda.  Mall patrons passing by were shocked to find a wall, where the home furnishing and decor giant once beckoned to the nation's richest homeowners.

The Illinois-based chain confirmed the rather-obvious closure, and directed CB customers to their Spring Valley, Washington, DC store at 4820 Massachusetts Avenue NW.

Why did Crate and Barrel close in Bethesda?

Frankly, it doesn't make much sense.  Westfield Montgomery Mall is undergoing a minor Renaissance, having added some promising tenants, and is in the midst of an aggressive physical expansion. A new wing, new restaurants, new cineplex and a transit center are scheduled to be built in the next few years.

And the real estate bubble never really burst in Bethesda.  Sales slowed, but prices stayed sinful. In fact, many lower-upper class residents refurbished and refurnished, rather than move to a new McMansion during the "down'' market.

So - theoretically - CB products should have been in demand.

Of course, CB did close an Orange County store a few years back. So closing stores in a wealthy area is not unprecedented at all.

Still, the closure was unexpected here. Are you a Crate and Barrel person? I haven't been a big shopper there - have you noticed less customers or other signs of a downturn there recently?


Gull said...

Considering how spaced apart their stores are (only 2 in all of NOVA, not counting that outlet in Alexandria, which really is a dumpy outlet, I've been there), Just one for Richmond, One in Annapolis, One in Towson - it does not seem fitting to have one only a few miles away in upper north west DC and at this mall. They may be planning to take space in one of the new projects being built in the White Flint area, seems like the kind of store that would anchor something like Pike and Rose, or North Bethesda Market II.

Robert Dyer said...

I believe the one at Tysons is a bit bigger than this one was, too. And that's not too far from Montgomery Mall via the interstates, either (distancewise, if not timewise). So, good point.

John W said...

They tend to close smaller stores, particularly if the location does not carry furniture.