Struggling Chloe’s Closet Plans Cutbacks at Cortland Store


Chloe’s Closet, the consignment store at 451 Cortland specializing in clothes for kids and expectant moms, has been a cherished resource for budget-conscious Bernal parents for more than a decade. Yet recently the business has been struggling, and today Chloe’s Closet announced a series of changes intended to keep the Cortland store afloat.

In an email to customers, Chloe’s writes:

It is no secret that San Francisco has a rapidly declining population of the people Chloe’s Closet really depends on: middle class and working class families. Many of those families just can’t afford to live here any longer and it shows in our sales. The last three years have seen decreasing revenue at both our San Francisco locations, especially in Bernal Heights. While sales have dropped steadily, costs have risen – rent, insurance, taxes and payroll go up and up. We are just barely hanging on.

At this time we are considering our options. We have 18 months left on our lease in Bernal Heights and the next few months will determine whether we can turn things around in Bernal. If we can’t make it work, then unfortunately we will need to find a tenant and close that location down. (We will continue in the Inner Sunset as well as in Berkeley)

In order to hang on in the meantime, we have no other option but to decrease our overhead. To this end, we will be reducing our employee hours at all three locations, and doing a partial shutdown of the “Toy” side at our Bernal Heights location. We are having a sale on our remaining Women’s and Maternity clothing, then we will close that section down. This will allow us to have one fewer person on the payroll per day.

We are also considering going to limited drop off days/hours and/or closing one day per week at all of our locations.

In addition, Chloe’s Closet will implement changes to its consignment policy in order to reduce the quantity of unsellable items dropped off at the store.


15 thoughts on “Struggling Chloe’s Closet Plans Cutbacks at Cortland Store

  1. I love Chloe’s. I just brought over two bags for consignment (I take the rejects back) and bought 3 items. I will miss the toy/women’s side. Let’s keep them in business! We need them in Bernal!

  2. Sorry to hear this! We’ve aged out of their customer base, but with all the little kids around I would have thought they’d be doing well.

  3. This makes me so sad – another sign of how SF is changing. I remember the very earliest days of Chloe’s, and admired Molly’s tenacity and foresight. I was delighted when she expanded into other areas of the city. Very best of luck!

  4. If you have a kid and you are not shopping at Chloe’s you are wasting a ton of money.
    Most of our kids clothes come (and then go) from there.

  5. This is where I get items for my niece and nephew! Also when I’m in the Sunset but mostly when I’m a few blocks from home. I hope their changes allow them to persist as this store has been so helpful through the years.

  6. While many families with children–or those who plan to have children–have left San Francisco in recent years, many newcomers do have young children. But do these people, almost all of whom are very wealthy–forgive my directness, I was not prop’ly e’ucated–not shop at consignment stores? Beneath them? Only Macy’s–and the hottest retailers for kiddos–for their offspring? That is the general conclusion, based on the notice and the writing on the wall.

  7. Exactly.
    The parents of these kids simply do not consider pricing when making their purchases. I would dare say, actually LOOK for higher priced fashions, because as always for many of them, everythings a competition.

      • Maybe you should ask the dozens of parents you know in Bernal Heights why they choose to not shop at Chole’s Closet.
        My god, you must believe that the economic realities of San Francisco have shifted mightily in the last 10-20 years, and the folks with small children these days certainly have more financial resources.
        If these parents were community minded and looking for good deals, why wouldn’t they be shopping at Chole’s Closet?

      • A fact that -apparently based on this blog entry – is that SOMEONE isn’t shopping at Chole’s.
        In my opinion, its people that aren’t community minded or thrifty. If thats the case (again only my opinion, since we’re all so seemingly hellbent on defining everything on this comment thread
        ) why do you think that might be?

      • Thanks Todd – I’m really fortunate to be able to choose where I shop and I always shop and consign at Chloe’s and encourage everyone I know to do the same. Ever since I heard of their troubles I’ve been thinking what else I might do to help. Having a family is challenging regardless of economic background. This is not an us vs. them situation, we have to work together to save this important local business.

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