Len Druskin storefront
Just four months after the venerable Len Druskin store moved across the street from Galleria to Southdale Center, promising a return to the premium fashion of its heyday, the store has closed. Gate down, merchandise gone. The Len discount store next door remains, as do the other four Len locations in the Twin Cities and at Woodfield Mall in suburban Chicago.
After years of introducing new concepts almost as often as fashion trends, company president Michael Druskin is ready to simplify—and maybe take a weekend off now and then. At its peak, there were seven different iterations of Len Druskin, from a premium men’s store to a clearance store. Michael has been working toward streamlining, focusing lately on the Len discounted fast fashion concept, with just the one flagship Len Druskin store. At the Galleria, that concept had become muddled, featuring $200 jeans alongside 50 percent off tops. When the store moved to Southdale in February, Michael planned to get back to the original concept of edgy, upscale contemporary brands for men and women, but the store didn’t take off. I wouldn’t blame the location, tucked away near the movie theaters at Southdale, so much as the fact that the store just didn’t feel finished.
Michael acknowledged that the juggle of growing the premium business while maintaining the outlet side was challenging.
“I wasn’t able to devote enough time to both concepts and really want to keep building one strong brand,” Michael says. “I am excited to be focusing all my efforts on our Len brand and believe customers will begin to notice my influence on product—if they have not already.”
With the closing of Len Druskin, Michael, who is Len Druskin’s son, acknowledges the end of an era. “It’s hard to part with something that has been a part of our lives for 25 years and Len’s life for nearly 40, but we also have a great concept in Len. We want to grow and build into the future. I hope as Len continues to evolve we will carry over many of our loyal customers to that concept. We are grateful for the support we have had from the community the last 40 years and look forward to many more great years in the Twin Cities and beyond.”
But what about Len—the man, the consumate salesman? He was a constant presence at his Galleria store, and made the transition to Southdale, where his retail career began some five decades ago. Michael says Len plans to spend a week at a time at each Len store, including the Chicago location. Last week, he was at Rosedale. This week, it’s Ridgedale.
“It’s great for the customers and the staff of these locations—Many have not met him before,” Michael says. “Sometimes change is good and I think this might be one of those cases.”