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Richard Piatt ReportingA spokesperson for Gap, Incorporated says Old Navy's Main Street store will close at the end of the month. The company says it just isn't doing enough business at the store, and plans to pay off a ten-year lease in order to leave.
The departure is a surprise to a lot of people in the city. The company says the store never performed. A bad location sunk this Old Navy's bottom line. Sales at this Old Navy store are apparently so bad, parent company 'Gap Incorporated' says it will close by the end of the month.
The news comes as other businesses are trying to make a go of it on Main Street. And, as the city tries a variety of Main street attractions like permanent chess tables between 2nd and 3rd South. But as in the game of chess itself, for every move the city makes, there is a countermove that's not always positive.
Rocky Anderson/Salt Lake City Mayor: "Well there is a lot of frustration with that because I think we could have the busiest Main Street in the country, if it weren't for these challenges posed with retail elsewhere."
That challenge includes other dissatisfied Main Street retailers, like Nordstrom, which is actively seeking a home at The Gateway. Unlike Nordstrom, however, a Gateway location is unlikely for Old Navy. Developer Jake Boyer says there would be financial consequences that make the deal unattractive.
Jake Boyer/'The Gateway' Developer: "I think it's really difficult for them to come here and for us to pay the penalty. I don't think we can afford to do that kind of deal."
Old Navy's departure from Main Street is the latest blow to a city facing a huge challenge in finding a way to make both Gateway and Main Street thrive. Shoppers outside the Old Navy are already sad the store is leaving.
Tara Haslam/Shopper: "I think a lot of people are worried about Main Street, all the stores closing up and seeing things leave."
Tracey Lovridge/Shopper: "I don't like that because it's a nice central location for downtown. It's convenient. Gateway is kind of a pain to get into sometimes."