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Steve & Barry’s closing all five Washington stores

Sat., Nov. 22, 2008, midnight

Apparel retailer Steve & Barry’s has begun closing its five Washington state stores after the New York company filed plans for bankruptcy this week.

The five stores in the state include a Spokane outlet in the NorthTown Mall. The others are in Auburn, Olympia, Vancouver and Everett. Of that group, only the Olympia store has already closed.

Ronda Groh, manager of the Steve & Barry’s at NorthTown, said the company’s main office has not set a closing date for her store.

“The ironic thing,” she said, “is we just hired 40 people to work for us for the holidays.”

Few of those workers will get the hours they first expected, said Groh. The store expects to maintain the same hours as other NorthTown retailers, she said.

“But we could get an e-mail tonight and it might change all that,” said Groh.

Steve & Barry’s specializes in value-priced college apparel. Company officials said they hope to liquidate all inventory by the end of the year if possible.

The store opened two years ago in the NorthTown location formerly occupied by Emporium.

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