When I think about retail stores, I always think that they are going to be around forever. Sure, I may not shop at a Forever21 anymore, but there will always be someone that will. When stores close within a mall, it’s not because they are being removed from existence. They are just moving to another retail space within the mall or another mall. These are the things that I tell myself and maybe that’s because my first job ever happened to be in retail.
Earlier this week, Totokaelo and Need Supply announced they would be shutting down as a result of COVID-19 impacting the retail environment. While I’m more aware of Need Supply than familiar with it, Totokaelo is a brand that I know well. It started as a boutique in the neighborhood that I lived in in Seattle and while I couldn’t afford many of the items there, it doesn’t stop me from visiting every time I return home. The store is full of beautiful designer pieces, accessories and home items. Walking into the space itself is a minimalistic dream. The retail climate has always been challenging for boutiques like these, but these times are much tougher. While we’re sad to see these two go, we’re hopeful that others will make it out okay.