One of New York’s most popular discount designer stores, Daffy’s, will be closing all 19 locations, it was revealed Monday afternoon.
Eleven of those stores are in the five boroughs.
Shoppers browsing the Daffy's on Broadway in Lower Manhattan were shocked to hear the news today.
“I was so surprised when I walked in and the employees told me they were closing,” said frequent Daffy's shopper Maria Orosz, 64. “This store is so close to my house and is much cheaper than Macy’s. I just can’t believe it.”
Another customer, who wished to not be named, was just as surprised as Orosz.
“I had no idea,” she said. “This is a horrible disaster.”
DNAinfo first reported the family-run clothing empire is shuttering. According to the site, a struggling economy and stifled consumer spending are to blame.
The chain is unsure of an exact closure date but will continue paying its estimated 1,300 employees for at least 60 days, according to the report.
Daffy’s press representatives did not immediately respond to confirm.
Currently Daffy’s has locations in Philadelphia, northern New Jersey, and all across Manhattan. The newest opened in Times Square last November.
Speculation that the 51-year old chain was struggling to survive amongst competitors like TJ Maxx and Century 21, began earlier this year when CEO Caryn Lerner left after only one year on the job.
One of the first discount stores of its kind, Daffy’s roots can be traced back to Irving Schulman, a quirky business man who started the retail store as “Daffy Dan’s Bargain Town” in New Jersey in 1961.
Schulman, who passed away last year, was known for his wacky marketing stunts including putting a mannequin on the roof so that passers-by would run in to warn of suicide jumpers, then hopefully stay for the discounted apparel.
A retail consultant told The New York Times in 2011 that the store had been seen as the “coming of age of the off-price apparel industry."
Amanda Barker contributed reporting.