The end of ‘Vanity’ stores, mainstay of Minnesota malls

KFGO Radio in Fargo reports that Vanity is closing all 140 of its stores in 27 states, including the ones found in malls across Northern Minnesota. The move is part of a bankruptcy that company executives from the 60-year-old Fargo-based clothing store chain blame on competition from online retailers.

According to KFGO, Vanity employs up to 1,700 people during peak shopping seasons, with more than 100 based at its corporate headquarters in Fargo.

Vanity has stores in Virginia, Bemidji and Duluth. Until recently it also had stores in Hibbing and Grand Rapids.

As a guy, I had little reason to ever go into Vanity. But for many struggling Minnesota malls it was one of the last places young women could buy clothes that weren’t from J.C. Penney (which is also closing stores this year, though not declaring bankruptcy).

Target, too, had a bad holiday shopping season. The mythos of malls and box stores appears to be fading fast. Everybody’s online.

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