Modell’s Boss Trying to Save Two UWS Stores, Report Says

The two Modell’s stores on the Upper West Side have been holding liquidation sales in recent days, and staff members there say they’ve been told the stores are closing. But owner Mitch Modell has now sent letters to the landlords for those stores and others asking them to work with him to renegotiate leases, according to the Post.

The letter to store owners asks them to agree to lower and defer rents for just 90 days while he gets the company back on track: “I’m all in on this, both financially and strategically. I will do whatever it takes to save these stores and protect the communities that we have serve[d] and loved for generation[s].”

Modell says the owners of the 23,000-square-foot, “too big a store” at 795 Columbus within Columbus Square agreed to reduce the rent a year ago, “but not enough to move the needle.” Winick Realty Group is listing the store for rent. Winick did not return a call for comment, but there are offers, sources said.

The Post calls it a “Hail Mary” attempt, given the long odds. The company did not respond to our request for comment.

NEWS | 14 comments | permalink
    1. Jean Luke says:

      Mitch Modell came across as a wonderful and generous man on Undercover Boss when he gave a homeless employee 250k to buy a house. I hope the stores survive as there are no other sporting good stores I can think of in the area with a broad line of sporting equipment. Paragon should open a UWS store if Modell’s ends up closing.

    2. Brendan says:

      Mitch is one or two successful kick starter campaigns away from extending his business at least into the middle of 2Q.

    3. chuck d says:

      Half those stores on Columbus are empty right now. Why would anyone be interested in renting the modells store?

    4. Juan says:

      I went into one of these stores earlier this week and the majority of these great sales were only 10% off. That really does not move the needle. I shop at Modell’s fairly often and hope they survive but they really need better service and prices.

    5. Christi says:

      Does anyone else find it disconcerting that so many stores are closing? It seems that many sit empty Indefinitely. It’s like we are slowly becoming a ghost town but with lots of residents and no businesses. What will this mean for long term property values? It surely will have an impact, I would think.

    6. John Hagemeyer says:

      The store on Columbus in the basement is to big.

      • Christine E says:

        Big and yet lacking inventory. When I asked an employee for a particular size of a shoe Modell’s carried, the employee gave me the names of several non Modell web sites where I could buy it!

    7. M says:

      It’s very alarming how many stores have closed along Columbus Ave. Some have been closed for years. Like the other commenter said, it’s like a ghost town.

    8. Modell’s has never been known for high quality products. It needs to rebrand itself to survive. At Columbus Square it is not a magnet store that brings people there to shop. Online internet sales haven’t helped either.

      If the Modell’s closes it store, the landlords should consider offering the space to a non retail use. A supermarket would not be the best use of this space having to compete with Whole Foods across the street. Converting the store to another non food use would be easy and economical. Renting to a large chain store might be profitable but the space is not that big for that kind of use.

      Community facilities are in short supply on the UWS. The local library is closed for renovations to improve its facilities. The NYC Board of elections needs poll sites and training space. Local community groups and CB7 need meeting space. Small businesses needing office space, could also benefit. Subsidies like tax abatements can make it possible to lower the rent and benefit the community.

    9. LOIS LAZARUS says:

      modells women clothes too expensive and not interesting womans sneakers also more than mens a new buyer / designer was needed 4 yrs in the womans dept

      i alsp bought t shirts even panys and jackets in the mens dept
      wil;l miss the mangers lovely professionals

      dr lois lazarus

    10. Timothy says:

      Fourth and long.

      Will be sad to see them go.

    11. Steven says:

      It’ll probably become another Duane Reade or CVS, cause there just aren’t enough of those on the UWS. (said sarcastically)

    12. Some Guy says:

      They should close the Modells thats at 77st.I been to that Modells and damn its really empty. There is barely any selection of shoes and or anything in general. The one at Columbus Square is really stocked. They have a good variety of items to choose from. The one at Columbus Square is really damn big. The area is too big to keep any store running. From my opinion they badly designed the area where the Modells is. They clearly could have fit atleast 4 floors down there.