EDITORIAL: Sad Irony of Providence’s Economy - Foxy Reopens, Nordstrom Closes on Same Day

Sunday, January 06, 2019

 

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On Friday, two of Providence's businesses experienced much different fates and both impacted hundreds of workers.

After much legal wrangling, the Foxy Lady reopened complete with a full bar and dancers with few clothes.

In stark contrast, Providence’s one upscale department store -- Nordstrom -- closed permanently.

In the announcement of the closure of the nearly 20-year-old Providence store, then the first in New England, Jamie Nordstrom, President of Nordstrom stores said, "The decision to close a store is always a tough one for us because we know it impacts both our customers and our employees. We've been fortunate to serve customers here for nearly 20 years and have built meaningful relationships with our customers and community in that time.”

"We look at our business market-by-market to understand where we have opportunities to grow our business while also being as efficient as possible in serving our customers. When we look at our business in the Providence market, we determined it made the most sense to end our Providence Place lease," said Nordstrom.

The building of Providence Place and the recruitment of Nordstrom was the high point of the Providence Renaissance.

“My father-in-law was also instrumental in the revival of Providence, turning it into a retail and tourist destination.  He loved to tell me the story of how he and then-Mayor Buddy Cianci traveled to Seattle to try to persuade Nordstrom to open up shop in what was believed to be a dying New England city. It worked.  Nordstrom now anchors the Providence Place development, which has attracted national retailers, upscale condominiums, and companies that have relocated to Providence because it has become very cool city,” wrote Dennis House, the son-in-law of the late Rhode Island Governor Bruce Sundlun.

Much attention was given to the more than 200 workers and “independent contractors” who worked at the Foxy -- but not a word has been uttered about the job losses for the workers at Nordstrom — many of whom were the best in the industry.

 

Related Slideshow: Rhode Island Restaurant Closings - December 2018

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Cook and Brown, East Side Providence

Closed

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Remington House, Warwick

Closed

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Caffe Dolce Vita, Federal Hill, Providence

Closed

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Paragon, Thayer Street, Providence

Closed

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Shanghai, Thayer Street, Providence

Closed

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Four Corners/Pink Pig, Warwick

Closing

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XO Cafe, Providence

Closed 

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Au Bon Pain, Downtown Providence

Closed

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Lili Marlene's, Providence 

Closed

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D'Angelos, Friendly's, Papa Ginos

Many in the region have closed

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Nordstrom's Cafe, Providence Place Mall, Providence 

Closing 

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Grille on Main, East Greenwich

Closed

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Rocco's Bistro, East Greenwich

Closed

 
 

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