Business

This Downtown clothing store will call it quits after 14 years

Signs posted outside the Lux Fashion Lounge in Downtown Boise announce the store’s closing. Owner Darrin Sligar expects the shop to remain open until early April.
Signs posted outside the Lux Fashion Lounge in Downtown Boise announce the store’s closing. Owner Darrin Sligar expects the shop to remain open until early April.

The Lux Fashion Lounge, once named the Best Vintage Clothing store in the Idaho Statesman’s annual Best of the Treasure Valley awards, will close.

Darrin Sligar, who owns the shop at 817 W. Idaho St. with his wife, Michelle, said Friday that he expects the store to stay open until sometime in early April. All non-sale merchandise is now 25 percent off. Sligar said deeper discounts will be offered in the coming weeks.

“We will not close the doors until we’ve sold enough stuff or our space has rented,” Sligar said.

The store sells secondhand and new clothing, shoes, jewelry and accessories. Business had declined since the store relocated a year and a half ago from 8th and Main streets to its present location in a larger space less than a block away.

Previously, the store was located next to The Rediscovered Bookshop, which expanded after Lux moved. The current location is in the Eastman Building, a couple of doors down from the Vandal Shop operated by the University of Idaho.

“That move just proved to not be a good idea,” he said. “Then, during last year’s snow in January and February, the snow was so bad we had a 58 percent decline in sales in January and 35 percent in February. Basically, we never recovered.”

Competition from online sales also took a toll, he said. “The competition is so fierce online [that] it’s pulling it from your brick-and-mortar stores,” he said.

Continual construction in Downtown Boise in recent years also drove some customers away, he said. Many people find it a hassle to find a parking space Downtown, while others don’t feel safe parking in public garages, he said.

“I know construction is a good thing, but I also know that if you do things that interrupt sales for much longer than three months, the typical small businessperson doesn’t have the financial wherewithal to ride through that,” Sligar said.

He said a remodeling project at a building next to his caused the sidewalk in front of Lux to be closed the week before Christmas, normally a busy time for sales.

Sligar said he remains positive.

“Downtown has been good to us over the past 14 years,” he said. “I’m appreciative of our employees and our customers. It’s just not working financially.”

John Sowell: 208-377-6423, @JohnWSowell

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