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The West Loop isn't looking so much like the up-and-coming retail hub it seemed to be just two years ago: I just got an e-mail from handbag and accessories shop Bess & Loie, which opened in 2007, announcing that it will close at the end of this month. But owner Allyson Holleb will continue the business via a shop-within-a-shop concept.
The first shop-within-a-shop will be at Erin Gallagher Jewelry, Bess & Loie's former neighbor (which moved to Lincoln Park, at 2034 N. Halsted, earlier this year).
In the meantime, full-price items are 25 percent off, and other markdowns are up to 90 percent. The store will throw a closing party on Thursday, November 12, from 5 to 9 PM, teaming up with local designers Susan Elizabeth, Bocue bags, and others for one last blowout.
Retailers are are suffering all over the city, but the West Loop, with its lack of foot traffic, seems to be a particularly tough place to do business. Ouest (which seems to be having problems with its Web site) moved from West Madison to Division Street in Wicker Park, and Pivot closed its doors last week. But some still hope to make a go of it—men's and women's clothing boutique Fix just opened in the space next to Pivot.