Patrick James, an upscale menswear retailer, is closing one of its brick-and mortar-stores in Palo Alto's Town & Country Village after more than 40 years in the community.
Patrick Mon Pere Jr., president of the nearly 60-year-old brand and son of founder Patrick Mon Pere, said in a letter posted Tuesday, Sept. 8, on social media that the impact of COVID-19 on its business forced the company to shutter its "top store."
"This is particularly painful as I have such fond memories of visiting the Palo Alto store with my father to interact with the crew and customers," Mon Pere Jr. wrote.
Mon Pere Jr. said in an interview that the location was one of the company's hardest hit stores, citing a 77% decline in sales in July, the month they opened after in-store retail restrictions were lifted, and an 80% decline in sales in August.
Though Town & Country made efforts to be more accommodating, Mon Pere Jr. said, in the end, they couldn't come to a rental agreement that would justify keeping the store open.
"Palo Alto was a market my father loved," Mon Pere Jr. said, recalling why his father first opened a store in the shopping center over four decades ago.
The men's apparel brand bills itself as a purveyor of high-quality, "west coast classic" styles. It was founded in 1962 by the elder Mon Pere, who was born in Fresno and later opened the first iteration of his namesake clothing store in the city. Mon Pere died on Feb. 11, 2019.
"He was a big advocate of what they used to call 'Ivy League' clothing," Mon Pere Jr. said. "He wanted to be the first guy to take that stance and bring it to the west coast."
The Fresno-based brand eventually expanded across California, Nevada and Arizona with a dozen brick-and-mortar stores, as well as a brief stint in women's clothing. It also currently runs an online store and a national catalogue. On top of its own branded clothing, the company sells other popular brands such as Tommy Bahama and Peter Millar.
Its Town & Country Village location launched a closing sale that began Friday, Sept. 11.
Patrick James is not the only retail casualty of the pandemic in Town & Country Village. In July, at least three of nine retailers that hung "for lease" signs on its storefront windows were shutting down due to the impact of COVID-19 and the following shelter-in-place orders that restricted in-store shopping for several months.
Those stores were GNC, the health supplement chain that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in June; Sweaty Betty, a women's activewear brand; and beauty retailer SpaceNK.
Find comprehensive coverage on the Midpeninsula's response to the new coronavirus by Palo Alto Online, the Mountain View Voice and the Almanac here.