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A downtown Evanston clothing store closed over the weekend.

The North Face, a national chain that had occupied the prominent corner location at 1600 Sherman Ave. in the Sherman Plaza development for several years, shuttered its Evanston store on Saturday.

The chain, which as described in a story in The Guardian this month, sells “the thrill of the wilderness to the urban masses,” now has retreated to just three outlets in Illinois — at Old Orchard in Skokie, on Michigan Avenue in Chicago and on Damen Avenue on Chicago’s north side.

North Face products, however, will still be available in Evanston, at the Uncle Dan’s Outdoor Store at 901 Church St.

Uncle Dan’s was acquired last year by Camping World Holdings, Inc., headed by investor Marcus Lemonis.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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8 Comments

  1. Great location!
    That would be a great location for either a coffee shop or a sushi restaurant!

  2. One in/one out
    Target in. North Face out. There’s a pattern here that is NOT being abated by increased downtown residency (and congestion). So next to go: CVS. Count on it.

    1. Target and North Face aren’t the same

      North Face and Target aren’t competing for the same dollar. I’m guessing Target was able to hold out for a sweetheart lease deal, which North Face was then asked to subsidize. The truth is, downtown Evanston is not the type of clothing shopping mecca that could keep a large flaghship-style store like North Face afloat — it’s made for Michigan Ave or Old Orchard and even in those places (or, especially in those places) I suspect it’s more about eyeballs than dollars. The question is, what will work in a space like that — who can afford to foot the bill. Clearly, based on the retail landscape/history of the rest of the block, the landlord would rather hold out for higher rent than fill empty spaces. 

      1. Evanston wasn’t the flagship
        Evanston wasn’t the flagship store, Michigan Avenue is. Also, it WAS about dollars. The management wanted more rent than the current penny-pincher execs. at TNF wanted to pony up. How do I know? I, along with a great crew opened that store almost a decade ago, and I keep in touch with people that are still there. Sherman Plaza only just made their decision in January, which explains the abrupt closing.

    1. Bowling alley, theater,
      Bowling alley, theater, pistol range, Binny’s, and a safe space all under one roof. Something for everyone and very inclusive. Would require a variance and a City loan but that should be no problem.

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