Biz Buzz Monday: Children’s retailer closing doors in Dubuque

Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from the tri-states. In addition to this update from Dubuque, we will highlight developments from Dubuque and Cuba City, Wis., in Tuesday’s edition.

A children’s apparel retailer soon will close its doors in Dubuque.

Staff members at Carter’s, 2445 Northwest Arterial, recently began informing customers that the store would close in March. That timeline later was confirmed by Cafaro Co. spokesman Joe Bell.

Cafaro Co. owns the majority of Asbury Plaza, the strip mall on the West End of Dubuque that has been home to a Carter’s location since late 2015. Bell acknowledged that the departure of the store would be a tough pill to swallow for local residents.

“It is a well-known brand for children’s and baby’s clothing,” Bell said. “Obviously, there is a need for that in every market.”

An employee at the Dubuque Carter’s acknowledged the impending closure but declined to speak on the record about the circumstances, instead passing along the number of the store’s district manager. Calls placed to that individual were not returned.

Carter’s currently operates about 850 stores in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. In October, company officials announced plans to close 25% of its brick-and-mortar stores in the next two years.

Bell said the closure of the Dubuque store is part of this broader trend.

“Carter’s is terminating leases as they come up for renewal,” he said. “They exercised their right not to renew their lease.”

Given the strong demand for children’s apparel, Bell predicted that the departure of Carter’s could open the door for another entity to enter the Dubuque market.

He emphasized that the storefronts in Asbury Plaza remain in high demand.

“It is a very busy plaza, and I think there is a shared energy when you get that mix of tenants,” he said “Our section of the plaza has been full for quite some time, and I don’t think (the Carter’s space) is going to stay empty very long.”