Despite Retail Slump, Woolrich Clothing Expands in SoHo – The Jewish Voice

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With all due respect to the much-ballyhooed Retail Apocalypse, Woolrich, the upscale outdoor clothing and workwear brand, says it has reached an agreement that will allow it to expand its SoHo retail location.

As reported by Bloomberg News, Woolrich, Inc. — founded in 1830 by John Rich and Daniel McCormick, and the oldest manufacturer of outdoor wear in the United States — will more than double its size on Wooster Street, taking a nearly 8,000-square-foot store next to its current location.

“Its new spot at 121 Wooster St., which has nearly 4,100 square feet on the ground floor and 3,700 square feet of selling space in the basement, will allow the company to showcase a growing collection of apparel and products,” Bloomberg said.

“They have a new investment firm involved in their business and the brand has been on the upswing in terms of consumer interest,” said Joel Isaacs, the founder of Isaacs and Company, who represented Woolrich in the lease. ”They want to capitalize on that and they needed more space to show the breadth of their line.”

Woolrich also announced that it has signed a lease for an approximately 6,500-square-foot office at 121 Varick St. and has plans to transform it into a showroom dedicated to wholesale marketing.

In yet another announcement, the company said recently that it will be closing its woolen mill in Woolrich, PA. The fabric manufacturing operations will cease by the end of the year and will affect up to 40 employees in the mill.

Nick Brayton, president of Woolrich Inc, said in a statement, “The decision to close the Mill was made following a comprehensive review of our overall woven fabric business and the considerable capital improvements needed to modernize and maintain viable operations. Unfortunately, due to higher manufacturing costs, eroding margins and continued unprofitability within the Mill, it is no longer economically feasible to continue our Pennsylvania based Woolen Mill operation.”

The mill opened in 1845 and is the oldest, continuously operated mill in the United States. Woolrich was founded in 1830. The only other two woolen mills in operation in the U.S. are the Pendleton Woolen Mill at Portland, OR and the Faribault Woolen Mill in Faribault, MN, according to

The company was founded for the purpose of manufacturing fabric for the wives of hunters, loggers and trappers. Later, it also outfitted clothing supplies to the American Civil War and Richard E. Byrd’s 1939–1940 Antarctic expedition.

The company bought 300 acres at Chatham’s Run in nearby Pine Creek Township in 1834 and built a sawmill. Rich bought out McCormick’s interest in 1843, and by 1845 the company moved to a new mill at the Chatham’s Run location.