Saturday, April 16, 2011

Entourage Man Taken Over By Sherrif

A reader writes about Entourage Man (1355 S. Michigan):

So I noticed that the owners of the clothing store Entourage at 14th and Michigan were evicted. Any idea as to what happened? Nosey minds want to know!

Unfortunately we don't know, but did take this pictures as confirmation:

When walking by you don't see many people inside, but it always looked nice.

(Hat tip: ND & CH!)


Anonymous said...

I went inside once, and immediately left after walking by the couch in the back corner of the store, where the owner and some workers/friends were sitting, because the smell of pot was overwhelming! Not saying this is why they are being shut down by the law, just saying that it was incredibly obvious.

tayiah said...

Evictions happen when tenants can't make the rent. Tenants can't make the rent when they aren't getting enough business from customers. So now we have another empty store front and less incentives for prospective entrepeneurs to open up and new residents to move in. How many people actually patronised the store? I know I did often. I don't know why south loopers don't get it by now and whats its going to take.

Anonymous said...

There are many small business that open up here that have horrible business models and without knowing for sure seem to get "tax breaks" from the city. This may be the only reason they were able to open in the first place in a higher rent district of the south loop. Open up your businesses in a cheaper rent area if your business model won't support it. I feel that the city does too much to attract "entrepreneurs" with tax breaks that other wise would need to open up their stores in different areas that may support their business better.

Take a look at the trends of many of the small businesses and they seem like they have been started up with people who have no prior business experience. Ole harwood was a failed business with three different concepts. Kaw Kaw cigar shop failed. Walk into Donna's and order some food and the pricing and quality is horrible. They will also be another example of a horrible business model that also will fail.

It is not the fault of the people of the south loop. We all patronize businesses that are worth patronizing. To name a few; Flo and Santos, Zapatista, Ma and I, Pannazos, South Coast are all doing incredibly well. They have one thing in common. They are all run by people who know that the hell they are doing. Just because we live in the neighborhood doesn't mean we need to be guilted in to patronizing awful businesses.

Anonymous said...

Its a density issue. For as dense as a lot of neighborhoods are in Chicago, South Loop included, you need A LOT of people to support a local retailer. Big Boxes have made it harder. For example a small hardware store needs $3million in revenue to stay viable and a drawing population of 50,000. I can only imagine what a specialty clothing store needs.

Chef L said...

I totally agree with Ann Apr 17 12:17PM. It is all about your buisness model and buisness owner's experience. We are in the south loop and in business since 1982. We are growing everyday and getting stronger. Just ask Slooping. However as a buisness owner, it does not make me happy to see a business closed in south loop.
Chef L

Anonymous said...

I was never sure who this store was marketing towards....It was something like metro-sexual/urban/ chic/vintage, with a name that was hard to very difficult to indentify with. I hear
"Entourage" and I am looking for E, Turtle and Vincent Chase, not a wierd motorcyle in the center of the sales floor and a Michael Jackson shrine in the back room (apparently a smoking room acording to another poster). I support the sloop businesses as much as possible, but this one never did anything to draw me in, nor seemed to fit what the south loop has come to be. We need more restaurant options...more "quick food" options and mainstream retail. I wish the owner luck....maybe he can get himself out of this and come back with a revamped store.

Anonymous said...

agree with April 16, 2011 12:09 PM ...if the business is good it will continue to exist. @ tayiah ...i never felt the need to go into Entourage Man ...would it have hurt for them to advertise a little more?

Anonymous said...

Agree about the business model. I will add though, it seems there is no vision or leadership in filling out the needs of the neighborhood. As much as free market it welcome, successful commercial areas need to better search, identify, and recruit businesses that will succeed.

The problem is that in the South Loop, no one is filling that role for the benefit of the residents and businesses. Many of the current organizations, like the Near South Planning Board, or what ever that group is called, gslo, are in it for their own riches. We have a South Loop business, and all I was offered was for me to fork up $125 to put me in some antiquated Near South Guide, and was harrassed by some lawyer to right a check to an organization I never heard back from.

For example, take this store; no fanfare, no marketing, no community interaction, etc. It takes time to cultivate good businesses and search out ones, by making them aware of their potential demographics and market need.

For a location like Michigan Ave, if you are going to recruit a start-up, make it someone with buzz and a following. For example, I saw a great story on former NBA Player Kevin Willis successfully launching a clothing line in Atlanta and elsewhere.
there is an example of creating buzz and marketing awareness.

Anonymous said...

Ideal business for that Spot - Harley Dealer.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the western economy. Ever heard of survival of the fittest? It's a marvel this sh!thole was open as long as it was.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I'd take a Starbucks at this point. Boring, but you can be confident it's not going anywhere.

Anonymous said...

I think they had a nice setup, and the clothes looked nice. I just think who they were marketing to was just a very small part of the neighborhood, and they must not have been drawing in buyers from other parts of the city.

Anonymous said...

I live in the condo building where this shop is. I asked my door staff and they said "it's closed". I went in to the store once to look at a simple black color t-shirt with superman logo on the front. Guess how much it cost? It's over $200! By then and there I understsnad why there's no customer because the price is ridiculous!

Lomax said...

I am a freelance beauty consultant at a beauty salon which is located in the same block. As stated by anonymous, I felt their business model was not well thought-out. I felt their prices were outrageously high and they only wanted a certain "segment" to shop at their store. Entourage obviously did not implement a complete market research or marketing strategy. Since I have clients from all areas of the city coming to the salon, it would have been easy to form a "strategic alliance" with Entourage and/or any business in the South Loop and recommend their products or services. South Loop patronage is great but buyers coming from all over the city/suburbs, hiking to the South Loop, is even better. Word of mouth can keep the cash registers ringing. "Niche" is fine but customers/clients coming in forking over "green-backs" is what its all about.

Anonymous said...

I used to live in the condo above Entourage, and the guys who ran this store were great, the merchandise was nice, etc etc etc.

But without a mass of a few fashion/accessory stores, it would be nearly impossible for even the strongest brand to do well in any location. Factor in that there is limited street parking, and the fact that it opened at the height of the economic downturn, and its closure was a foregone conclusion.

I love that neighborhood and think there's so much potential there, but a little bit of infrastructure HAS to happen before those great things can grow.

One, there needs to be a public parking area. The old courthouse building should come down and be replaced by a nice, accessible indoor parking option that doesn't cost an arm and a leg to use would help SO much, not just for restaurants and stores but also for just having visitors. There is simply NO street parking near many of the residential buildings in the area.

The mix of retail isn't quite right yet....I know there are limitations in lots of condos that they won't allow bars, restaurants or food based on concerns about rodents. But the mix of retail in that block is headscratchingly bad. A store for medical accessories? Farmers Insurance? How about one of the new cupcake places, or an Intellegensia cafe? You know, things we residents NEED and in the right balance of how much we need them (as in, please, not another dry cleaner since we appear to have three dry cleaning places per resident).

sorry, i'll get offa the soap box now....

Anonymous said...

I live in the South Loop and patronised the store, i have to admit they had some amazing merchandise,on my next visit to Art of modern dentistry which is two stores from them, i realised they were shut down by the state sheriff, i wasn't all surprised because the high prises of their merchandise and lack of parking in the area will definately make it hard for any small biz to survive.

Anonymous said...

lack of parking? there are four parking lots within about 100 yards plus plenty of street parking.

Willie Davis said...

This comment is one year and six months later than i really wanted it to be, but I felt compelled to give you my truth. With the recent activity @ 1355 South Michigan Ave. I would like to clear the air, there has been a lot of blogging, conversation, and myths about Entourage Man.
1. The business model was to bring north Michigan Ave. to the South Loop.
2. There was a research study made with the growth of the South Loop, the average income was $80,000.00 and the average price of condos were $250,000.00.
3. The owners have never allowed drugs or alcohol on the premises at all, so the person who made the comment told an outright LIE!!!
4. The clothes @ Entourage Man were all unique and different and made from the best design houses from Around the world, just like north Michigan Ave.
5. The owners had a combine 25 years , in the retail fashion business.
6. The economic downturn cause the business to fail, with no help from the landlord at all.
7. Entourage Man found a great home in the West Loop , and has flourish since that dreadful closing April 2011. We would like to thank all the loyal customers that support our efforts!!!
Willie Davis, the owner