SEEKONK — Struggling Ann & Hope will close its remaining Curtain and Bath outlets by the end of the summer, and its owners are blaming the cornonavirus pandemic, in part, for the decision.
Locations on Taunton Avenue in Seekonk and at 1 Ann and Hope Way in Cumberland will close over the next few months, the company announced Monday, weeks after publicly denying it had plans to shutter the stores.
The company listed 11 Curtain and Bath outlets on its website that will be closing, and announced a closing sale will get underway July 9.
Founded in 1953, Ann & Hope, once a major discount retailer in the area, closed its department stores in 2001, including the store on Route 6. There is still an Ann & Hope Garden Outlet on Fall River Avenue.
“This was an exceedingly difficult decision, but after carefully looking at all of our available options, it became apparent that it was inevitable,” Corporate Vice President Ron Dore said. “The unprecedented economic uncertainty brought on by the COVID-19 public health crisis, combined with more consumers gravitating toward online shopping alternatives, has created a retail environment that is simply no longer sustainable for many locally owned businesses like ours.”
After closing temporarily in March in response to government shutdown orders, the retail sites reopened recently.
The company says it is in discussions about the fate of its Ann & Hope Garden Outlet locations.