So awesome. Club Libby Lu is closing all its stores. CLL's parent company, Saks Fifth Avenue, made the announcement yesterday, and expects to have all the skanky toddler-to-tween makeover boutiques removed from America's malls by May 2009.
Not to gloat or anything--you know what, I absolutely will gloat--I totally called this a year and a half ago. When I first discovered Club Libby Lu as a new parent, I dreaded about someday having to fight the superficial, idiotic, pop culture-worshipping chain's impending influence on my daughter. But then after a snotty little CLL employee chewed me out, I ran the numbers and saw that I didn't need to worry: the Club Libby Lu concept was failing in slow motion and would only get easier, not harder, to avoid:
In 2004, the talk was to open 20 stores/year, plus 15 in-store boutiques. CLL's site now says "10 to 15 annually." Considered alongside the parent company's own strategic shift, I'd guess Saks considers the Club Libby Lu concept played-out, and the company's being prepped for sale to a bigger fool.For the record, the kid will graduate from preschool in May 2009.
As a parent, this is useful, even vital, information: by the time the kid hits kindergarten in a few years, and her little peers seize control of her cultural influences, Club Libby Lu will be no more of a tacky threat than the racy black light posters at Spenser's Gifts. In the mean time, all I need to do is avoid a few malls, which was already on my to-do list. And some day soon, Jessica, you will learn a valuable lesson about the vicissitudes of the retail business. I hope you'll take the opportunity to enhance your employability by enrolling in beauty college. Times are changing kid. Now turn down that music.
First Obama and now Club Libby Lu, this is turning out to be a great week for America.
Club Libby Lu closing all stores [bakersfield.com via jason]
Previously: CLL employee pouts, calls me grandpa
An awesome treasury of CLL-hating comments from the Washington Post