The North Face closes downtown Evanston location


Colin Boyle/Daily Senior Staffer

The North Face, 1600 Sherman Ave. The company closed its doors at its downtown Evanston location on March 23.

Catherine Henderson, Assistant City Editor

The North Face in downtown Evanston closed its doors on March 23 after struggling to afford the brick-and-mortar location in the city’s center, economic development manager Paul Zalmezak said.

The North Face was located at 1600 Sherman Ave., a high visibility location in the center of Sherman Plaza. The store closure leaves only three locations left in the state — one at Westfield Old Orchard mall, one on Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago and one in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood.

Zalmezak said the retail market in Evanston changes with fashion trends. He added that Canada Goose jackets became more popular than North Face jackets in recent years.

“As an observer of these trends, I predicted internally that this would happen,” Zalmezak said. “North Face has a presence at Old Orchard. They are where they need to be.”

Zalmezak said he “caught wind” of the location’s closing a couple weeks ago. The store was not performing at the level the company wanted to see, he said. The owner of the building has already found a replacement that Evanston residents would like, but Zalmezak could not yet share what the new tenant would be.

The North Face, which sells mainly cold-weather apparel and gear, is owned by the VF Corporation. VF owns several popular clothing brands such as Vans, Wrangler and Nautica.

When the store opened its doors in 2007, then-manager Ross Cavanagh told The Daily that the Evanston location would draw a different crowd than other locations in Chicago because it would not be able to reach tourists. However, he said he hoped Northwestern students, particularly women, would shop at the store.

“We realize that lifestyle is a big part of our appeal,” Cavanagh said. “It’s almost the Northwestern uniform.”
Weinberg sophomore Grace Learn said The North Face is out of budget for most NU students.

“I actually like North Face a lot, but whenever I’d buy anything, I would usually get it with my mom or plan it out ahead of time, not just go in on a whim and buy a really expensive coat,” Learn said, adding that its location in downtown Evanston wasn’t the right place for the store.

Syd Stone contributed reporting.

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