Robinson Luggage packing it in

Posted: November 01, 2013

Robinson Luggage, a retailing fixture in Center City since its founding in 1927, is going out of business.

Nancy Center, vice president of the company, said the store at Broad and Walnut Streets could no longer compete with big-box stores such as Walmart and online giant Amazon.com.

At its peak, Robinson had seven stores in the Philadelphia region. In 2007, the company - bolstered by its own online operation - reported $22 million in revenue.

Now it is down to six employees at Broad and Walnut and nine in management and the online business, said Center, who lives in Montgomery County.

The store will close when the company has completed its liquidation, which Center expected by year's end.

"It's very heartbreaking," she said Wednesday.

Center said she did not know what would happen to the property, which the company leases from the University of the Arts.

Her family bought the store in 1981 from the Robinson family. At the time it was on the second-floor at Chestnut and Juniper Streets.

Robinson drew national headlines in 2008 when it was looted after the Phillies' World Series win.

Center said she and her sister, Sharon Laudenbach, the company's president, did not know what the future held for them.

"We will be moving on," she said.


bmoran@phillynews.com

215-854-5983

@RobertMoran215

Inquirer staff writer Claudia Vargas contributed to this article.

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