The Mosaic District will soon be a little emptier, with the impending closure of Wee Chic (2905 District Avenue, Suite 120) coming on the heels of the recent departure of Purée Artisan Juice Bar (Suite 140).
A chalkboard sign outside Wee Chic last Thursday (Sept. 16) indicated that the kids’ clothing boutique is currently having a “location closing” sale. Owner Bridget Quinn Strickline confirmed that Sunday (Sept. 26) will likely be the store’s last day.
Wee Chic launched its original store in Lutherville, Maryland, north of Baltimore in 2009 and expanded to Merrifield with its second location in the spring of 2019, just a month before its 10-year anniversary.
Stickline says she loved having the Mosaic store, which saw “very strong” business from young families with infants and toddlers, but it ultimately didn’t attract the balanced customer base needed to justify renewing the lease for the 1,800 square feet of space.
“We met wonderful customers that were terrific, and we had so much fun getting to know them and watching their little kids grow up over the few years we were there,” she said. “But we just didn’t develop those next two categories, which is the kid and the tween, and that’s essential to making our formula successful.”
While the COVID-19 pandemic “certainly wasn’t helpful,” it wasn’t a huge factor in the decision to leave the Mosaic District, Stickline says, expressing appreciation for the support that property owner Edens offered Wee Chic and other merchants over the past year of shutdowns and public health restrictions.
Mosaic customers can still order from Wee Chic by phone and online, two options added while the physical stores were closed in the spring of 2020. Stickline previously resisted the allure of e-commerce, preferring in-person interactions, but she says the online store “was a lifesaver” during the pandemic.
In addition, the 3,000 square-foot Lutherville location is not only still open, but remains so successful that Wee Chic recently launched a new, teen-focused brand called Girlhero in the same shopping center.
Stickline hasn’t ruled out a return to Northern Virginia for Wee Chic or Girlhero, which she says is “off to a great start.”
“We love the Northern Virginia market,” Stickline said. “I think it’s a matter of kind of figuring out where the right mix of clients are for us, where we get kind of all of the age groups represented really well and we can be a part of that community.”
Just down the street from Wee Chic, Purée Juice Bar has been shuttered. Signs posted to its windows encourage patrons to visit its other locations at The Boro and in D.C. and Bethesda, Maryland.
Purée Director of Marketing and E-commerce Jordan von Lange says the company closed its Mosaic District store on Aug. 31, citing a decline in foot traffic and the widespread hiring challenges that have stymied the country’s retail and service industries.
“Our lease was ending in October and we decided not to extend the lease due to a decrease in foot traffic in the Mosaic area and close up early because the staffing shortage,” van Lange said. “We also just opened up a new location close by inside the Whole Foods in The Boro at Tysons so wanted to pursue that opportunity instead.”
The women’s fashion store Francesca’s (Suite C10) also appears to be closed, as Yelp users have reported, but a customer service representative told Tysons Reporter by phone that the company has shut down several of its stores recently for remodeling.
An email to Francesca’s corporate office asking whether the Mosaic District closure is permanent did not get a response by press time. The clothing retailer’s Tysons Corner Center location remains open.
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