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Clock Winds Down at Georgetown Betsey Johnson Fashion Boutique

Bargains and sadness mark going- out- of- business sale at popular M Street store

, the one-time high-flying fashion boutique at 3029 M St. NW, is winding down to its final days following the bankruptcy filing by the national chain late last month.

For Jennifer Zinn, the Betsey Johnson local public relations person, it's all "very sad." But she is determined to make the  best of the situation with a series of 'Bye Bye Betsey' events including a garden party last week and a 'Bye Bye Betsey' boatride scheduled Tuesday in Georgetown.

"I've been with the company for ten years," she told Patch. "It's very sad."

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A company statement said going-out-of –business sales are underway at 54 of the Betsey Johnson boutiques nationwide, including the one in Georgetown, as well as at the chain’s nine outlet stores. Prices are slashed between 30 and 60 percent on all Betsey Johnson apparel, jewelry, handbags and shoes in the Georgetown store.

"We want this to be a tribute to Betsey for what's she done," Zinn said.  "It's really the end of an era in fashion and we want to put a positive spin" on it, she said.

The garden party, honoring employees at both the Georgetown and Tyson's Galleria store in McLean, Va., was a great success attracting more than 100 guests, Zinn said.

If you have a gift card, you better hurry. They’ll be honored only until June 1. Store customers had about $695,000 outstanding in unused gift cards, according to a Wall Street Journal report earlier this month.

Well-known fashion designer Betsey Johnson will retain control of her clothing label. The label will still be sold in specialty and department stores. But all Betsey Johnson stores in the U.S., UK and Canada will be shuttered with about 350 store workers losing their jobs in the process.

Gordon Brothers Group and Hilco Merchant Resources are jointly running the going out-of-business sales. Merchandise won’t be replenished during the sales.  When everything is sold, the stores will be closed.

Richard Kaye, a spokesman for Hilco Merchant Resources, said there's a possibility the closing date for the Georgetown Betsey Johnson store will be moved up to mid-June. 

"Originally we were looking at late June," he said in a telephone interview when asked about the closing date. "But the sales there have been fairly strong...so there's a possibility that it could be accelerated, perhaps until the middle of June."

"Basically, I want to be the last store to close," said Zinn, noting that at least 10 Betsey Johnson stores had shut so far in May. "We are hoping to remain open through the end of next month," she said.

No word yet on who will be moving into the .

Judith Bunnell May 28, 2012 at 12:06 PM
Jennifer is a doll and deserves a wonderful next position in whatever she chooses to do!
Anna Mehrer June 01, 2012 at 08:10 PM
I remember drooling here in high school with friends (we didn't have enough money to actually buy anything, except maybe a pair of tights that was in the basket by the dressing room). That was 1991. XO Betsey: Thanks for the inspiration! ~Anna

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