Thursday, April 26, 2012

Catherine's store closing in Mankato MN

DH and I went to visit the grandkids in Faribault last weekend - took them swimming at the motel while my son and his fiancee were on a bike ride to Wisconsin. But before that, DH and I went to Mankato. I wanted to have the van detailed at a carwash there - they wash your vehicle, vacuum it out, wash the floor mats, wash the windows inside and out, clean the dashboard, and even put in your choice of scent (don't know what it costs now, used to cost $20 when I had it done 10 years ago). But it was raining and the place was closed. So we went to Long John Silver's for lunch (we don't have one near Sauk Centre) and then I went to Catherine's to check out the clearance racks (I used to hit those clearance racks all the time when I lived in Le Center and worked in Mankato). Imagine my surprise when I found out the store was closing! The saleslady said it was due to the economy - not as many people were buying clothes, what with the economy being as bad as it has been for the last few years. Well, I can understand that, what with DH losing his job that paid $15 an hour and having to take a job a WalMart that pays less than half that (and is only part-time, to boot). I'm thinking that one of the big reasons women can't afford to shop at Catherine's anymore, unless there's a sale, is that their tees are priced at $48 to $53 and tank tops are priced at $36 to $40. I'm sorry, I worked in a garment factory and I know what it costs to make a tee or a tank - and those costs don't justify the prices we're being charged for clothing. If I have to pay $48 for one shirt, exactly how many times am I going to be able to buy shirts in a year? If I'm not making at least $100K a year (or married to someone who's making that much), I might be able to afford one or two new shirts a year - and that's if I don't need new shoes, or new bras (and don't even get me started on how much bras cost that will support my rack of doom), or new slacks, or new underdrawers. Women who don't wear plus sizes can find all kinds of clothing at reasonable prices, but once you get above a size 12 or 14, forget it - be prepared to pay an arm and a leg for anything that looks halfway decent and will last more than 6 months (and be prepared to make it last for years because you'll be lucky if you can afford to replace it any sooner). If stores that cater to larger women want to stay in business in this economy, they're going to have to figure out a way to give us what we want at prices we can afford so we can buy more often. Lots of women buying one or two items once or twice a year is not going to keep a store open - you need to have lots of women being able to buy several items every couple of months if you want to keep your stores open (I know this because I researched opening a store catering to women my size about 25 years ago - things haven't changed in the years since then on how to keep your business open and thriving).


  1. Yes! I used to be able to shop at Target, Ross, Marshall's and even Wal-Mart and find decent clothes that fit me and that I liked. No more, and it's not because I gained weight, either, I'm still the same size I was 15 years ago. Their selections are smaller, quality is worse, and the fabrics are atrocious. They're all flimsy and mostly synthetic. I guess I'll be dragging out the sewing machine.

  2. And today I just found out that they're closing the Catherine's in St Cloud. So unless I want to drive all the way to Minneapolis/St Paul (about 2 hours, and I hate driving in the cities) or Fargo, I'm fucked for having a store closer than 2 to 3 hours away from me with clothes that will actually fit me. Sure, I can hit Catherine's online, but they don't have the same selection as the stores do, and when online has a clearance sale, which is all I can afford to shop, my size is all sold out in the things I like (all that's left is the really fugly shit that my grandmother wouldn't be caught dead wearing, let alone would I be caught dead wearing it). So we stopped, I checked out what they had and managed to find 4 tops that I liked, total original cost was $131.50 and I got them all for $81 (and that was still more than I wanted to spend, but Mike told me to go ahead, it's going to be a while before we can afford to go to another Catherine's and spend that kind of money on clothes for me - I love that man!). Lane Bryant doesn't carry anything in their stores above a 3X and Fashion Bug only goes up to a 4X (and they don't carry many of those).
    And like I said earlier, what do these companies expect when the prices they charge for tees and tanks are so high? People can't afford to spend that kind of money that often, not in this economy, and the dressy clothes are even more expensive. Who can afford that kind of money for those clothes when they can't afford to go the places that you would wear them? If you want to increase your business, you have to make things people want/need and at a price they can afford to pay.

  3. I agree with just about everything that was said in the previous posts about the Catherines costs a fortune just to afford something that you could actually wear to work ....let alone in public !
    I order things online & truthfully, I usually strike out because the sizes vary so much from one blouse to another !I decided I need a size 3 & 1/2 X.....that would be about perfect !!!!


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