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Gantos was a women's specialty clothing retailer based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA. The company specialized in private label and name brand apparel.
Beginnings and Growth
Opening in 1952, early stores in Grand Rapids were located in neighborhood business districts. As the company grew, outlets were generally mall based. Gantos also sold discounted merchandise at its Gantos Bargain Boutique locations in Grand Rapids and West Michigan. In the late 1980s Forbes Magazine noted the company as one of the fastest growing women's specialty retailers in the United States. As of early 1993 the company had some 163 stores from coast to coast.
Bankruptcy and Closure
In late 1993 the company announced bankruptcy reorganization, closing 50 stores between 1993 and 1994. A slow down in the retail apparel market and ill-conceived merchandising rollouts are cited for causing the company tailspin. Despite efforts over the next several years to reverse fortunes, including fresh management, moving its headquarters to Stamford, Connecticut and opening new stores, the company ultimately could not turn a profit. In late 1999 Gantos announced it would liquidate its remaining 114 stores in 24 states.
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