Clover Stores Closing Early

Posted: August 28, 1996

Liquidation sales at several Clover stores have gone so well that some of the stores are closing a few weeks ahead of schedule.

The Township Line store in Havertown closed yesterday, the Gallery store will shut its doors Friday or Saturday, and the Cottman Avenue store will go out of business today.

``They kind of accelerated ours [the closing] just a little bit because we did a little bit better than we thought,'' said Pat Dale, who has managed the Cottman Avenue store for 12 years.

``A lady came in [Monday] and said to me, `Where would I look for an engagement present?' and I said, `Go to Macy's,' '' she recalled. ``It's really like a garage sale now. It's kind of catch as catch can.''

The Clover discount store chain began selling off its merchandise in June after Strawbridge & Clothier was sold to May Co. of St. Louis.

The Clover leases were sold to Kimco Realty of New York, which is seeking developers for the properties. Three of the 26 stores, including the one at Penrose Plaza in Southwest Philadelphia, will remain open because of lease requirements.

Kohl's, a Midwestern retailer, is expected to open 11 stores at former Clover sites. A Clover official said Kohl's would take possession of the stores in October and would reopen them in the spring.

The Center City Gallery Clover store isn't included in Kohl's plans. Its future is uncertain.

``We sold out quicker than we expected,'' said a store employee yesterday. ``Right now, it's odds and ends.

``We still have some jewelry, which is 50 percent off,'' the worker said.

And cards. ``I keep pushing cards,'' the employee said.

At Township Line, employees shut the doors about 5 p.m. yesterday.

``We were planning to close on Sunday,'' said Nancy Datko, the store's personnel manager. ``They just bumped us back two days.

``We don't have much left,'' she said. ``It's a very sad day. We have two days to pack up, and then we're all done . . . . Everybody's trying to cover up the tears.''

At Cottman Avenue, the feeling is closer to relief.

``Everybody is very tired,'' said Dale, who has accepted a job at Kohl's. ``It has been very grueling. Liquidations are very difficult. We are ready to go on with our lives now.''

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