Uniqlo shutting Michigan Avenue store

The closure will add to the prominent vacancies seen on the premier retail street.

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The Uniqlo and Columbia Sportwear stores are seen in March 2020, early in the pandemic that forced shutdowns of retailers deemed nonessential.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Uniqlo, a Japanese clothing retailer, has said it will close its store that occupies a prominent space on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, delivering the latest blow to a thoroughfare rocked by the exit of other retailers.

The company said on its website it will close its store at 830 N. Michigan Ave. on Aug. 22. A representative could not be reached for additional comments Tuesday.

The posting invited shoppers to visit its remaining Chicago-area stores on State Street and in Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg.

Uniqlo’s 60,000-square-foot store had prime frontage across the street from Water Tower Place. It opened in 2015.

The store occupied about half of a building owned by Brookfield Property Partners, which also has Water Tower Place. The vertical mall, a pioneer in the format, has been dealing with the loss of anchor tenant Macy’s. Gap and Express are among other stores that have left the street.

A Brookfield spokeswoman declined to comment about Uniqlo. The 830 N. Michigan building also has a Columbia Sportswear store, but the chain lists it as temporarily closed on its website.

The so-called Mag Mile has been suffering reductions in foot traffic because of the pandemic and the lingering effects of last year’s riots that targeted many retailers, including purveyors of luxury goods. The street traditionally commands high rents and sees few vacancies, but in March the head of the Magnificent Mile Association pegged the “unofficial” vacancy rate at 20%, counting stores looking to exit their leases.

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