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Lee’s Fifth Avenue to close Manor Park store ... focus on known US brands

Published:Friday | May 13, 2016 | 5:00 AMSteven Jackson
Lee Issa, owner of the Lee's Fifth Avenue clothing chain.

Clothing chain Lee's Fifth Avenue, led by businessman and hotelier Lee Issa, will close its large outlet in Manor Park Plaza, which will reduce its store count to three located at two malls in Kingston.

It's the latest store closure for the five-decade-old chain, which has been downsizing.

Lee's Fifth Avenue's competitors now include online stores, trendy boutique stores, as well as other department stores. The chain, in its notice advertising the Manor Park closure, called on its shoppers to support the other stores, saying they would now be stocking trendy clothing from known American brands.

"We are closing down," read the notice posted on the store window. "Please visit our [other locations] for high-quality clothing, shoes, and on-trend new arrivals in GAP, Banana Republic, Aeropostale and more!"

Lee Issa was not reached for comment.

The store at Manor Park, which occupied its own block at the upper end of the plaza, has operated there for more than a decade. No precise timeline for the closure was announced, but already some of the mannequins have been stripped of clothing displays.

Lee's will still operate its 'main store' and Lee's Shoe Store from Tropical Plaza; and Lee's Sovereign Centre.

Its marquee store at Fairview Plaza, Montego Bay, is also closed.

In the past, the company operated a number of shops with a previous standout store in New Kingston Shopping Centre. Calls to Lee's Fifth Avenues corporate office and Issa's contact number at Swept Away were unanswered.

Elias Issa founded Lee's Fifth Avenue in 1965 as a small retail clothing store, but was later built out to become the largest retail clothing chain in Jamaica, according to the company's bio. Elias was succeeded by Lee Issa.

steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com