Store closings: Ultimo and a CB2
Two Chicago shopping institutions are shuttering their doors this month.
First up is Ultimo (116 E Oak St, 312-787-1171), which has been a fashion destination on Oak Street for 40 years. The shop was the first to introduce Giorgio Armani, Sonia Rykiel and Jil Sander to Chicago shoppers. The boutique’s history goes even deeper: It’s also the place where Ikram Goldman started out before opening her own legendary shop, Ikram, and gaining notoriety as one of Michelle Obama’s personal stylists.
But back to Ultimo. Current owner Sara Albrecht tells me the store will close for good on January 30. But in the meantime, expect some excellent sales. “All the deals are good, but we have some amazing ones on evening wear and especially gowns,” Albrecht said. You’ll find 50% off the lowest markdown price of every item, which means some merch will be as much as 90% off. For example, you’ll find Manolo Blahnik shoes going for 75% off retail prices.
As for CB2, the news isn’t too bad. The company (Crate and Barrel) is only closing the Lincoln Avenue location. A CB2 public relations manager told me that while the company is expanding (an outpost just opened in Miami; another is set to open soon in Santa Monica), it’s interested in having only one location in each city. So, the North Avenue location (800 W North Ave, 312-787-8329) will remain intact. The lease was up on the Lincoln Avenue store, so it was time to pack it in. This was the very first CB2 and was there for ten years so the closing is somewhat bittersweet. On a personal note, I always loved stopping in and picking up a trinket or two before getting groceries at the Trader Joe's next door.
The good news is that everything in the CB2 is on sale, and some items are even as much as 50% off. The location closes for good on Sunday 17, so I’d get there as soon as possible to scoop up the deals. Lang mentioned to me this morning that there’s still a large selection of merch available. There’s no word on what will fill the vacant space.