Center City athletes have lost a popular place to shop. The Under Armour store located at 1529 Walnut Street seems to have shuttered this past weekend with no notice. The brand, which is a retailer for higher-end workout gear, shoes, and sports equipment for men, women, and children, is a popular one. The Philadelphia location had opened just two years ago, making the closing even more mysterious.
When the Philadelphia Inquirer reached out to Under Armour, they provided this cryptic statement: “As part of our omni-channel strategy, we continually seek to optimize global operations. Based on this thorough process, we have decided to close our Philadelphia (Walnut Street) location.” The rote statement provided precious little actual information. It is unknown how many employees lost their jobs with the closure.
The closure leaves a corner-lot vacancy at The Beacon, the building that housed the store on its ground floor. The Beacon is a 15-floor building constructed originally in 1926 and currently owned by Pearl Properties. The structure is also home to 98 luxury apartments. From the Inquirer: “The space within The Beacon that Under Armour was operating from is a 10,000-square-foot corner property, which is more valuable than a mid-block space. It’s been reported that a retailer at a coveted corner store between the 1400 and 1700 blocks of Walnut Street, a prime shopping strip in Center City, could expect to pay around $185 to $200 per square foot in 2017.”
Under Armour is doing well as a global brand and reports healthy stock prices, but the brand has been struggling a bit to hold ground in North America, where growth has been less pronounced than in other markets.
Under Armour is not the only store to vacate its Center City location this year. Armani Exchange and Nine West have also shuttered in Philadelphia’s upscale shopping district, which is doing nothing but growing and expanding.