g.Briggs will close two of four stores to cut costs

November 22, 1990|By Cindy Harper-Evans

Another local retailer that grew up in the fast-paced '80s is feeling the pinch of adult life in today's sluggish economy filled with countless competitors.

G.Briggs, the classic men's and women's clothing chain based in Linthicum, said yesterday that it will scale back to suit the new times.

The retailer will close the two smallest stores in its four-store chain -- one in Baltimore and the other in the Columbia mall -- in an effort to trim expenses and protect market share, said Skip Briggs, the company president.

Both the Baltimore store, g.Briggs' women's-only location at Redwood and Light streets, and the store in Columbia, are in the midst of closing sales and most likely will be shut down at the end of the Christmas season, Mr. Briggs said.

Mr. Briggs, 42, who founded g.Briggs in 1979 and outlined an ambitious plan for national growth four years ago that would give the retailer $25 million in annual sales by 1990, said his goals have changed because of an overabundance of retailers trying to cash in on consumers who are spending less and holding out for sales.

"We used to want to be a national player. Now all we want to be is the best in Baltimore," said Mr. Briggs. "It's been a tough retail environment since last Christmas, and in September it seemed to tighten up another notch. When we flipped the calendar from 1989 to 1990, it was like the whole world changed."

The two stores that will remain after g.Briggs' cutback are its 6-year-old store in Timonium, which has roughly 10,000 square feet of space, and its new 15,000-square-foot store in Annapolis, which opened after the closing of its Severna Park Mall store.

Mr. Briggs said the company will retain about five of its 10 full-time employees from the Baltimore and Columbia stores.

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