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Entrepreneur and reality host buys Len Druskin assets

A national entrepreneur and CNBC reality host has purchased the assets of the Len Druskin stores in the Twin Cities.

Last week, all of the stores mysteriously closed. On Wednesday, the store in City Center in downtown Minneapolis reopened with the new name “Shop the Runway.”

Calls to Len Druskin and his son, Michael, were not returned.

Marcus Lemonis, the star of “The Profit,” a CNBC reality show about saving small businesses, has purchased the inventory and fixtures from all the stores.

“I bought the bank’s position and got the assets in exchange for the note,” he said.

Lemonis said all of the leases were in default and many vendors had not been paid. He plans to retain the City Center location if all goes well.

“I’m trying to restart the engine,” he said. “I’m bringing unsold merchandise from all the stores to City Center.”

Eventually, he hopes to broaden the selection and price points to attract more traffic.

Len Druskin also had outlet locations in Southdale, Mall of America, Rosedale and Ridgedale.

Merchandise at the City Center store is discounted 60 percent, except for in the 80 percent off clearance section. Before the closings, discounts were slightly less. All sales are now final, a change in store policy.

Lemonis said he reopened the City Center store because it was the only location that was profitable.

Len Druskin had been in a state of flux for several years. Last year, the full-line Len Druskin store moved after 24 years in the Galleria in Edina to Southdale.

The new store was a short-timer, closing after four months. But four outlet stores remained open until last week. The Chicago store that opened in 2013 in Woodfield Mall closed a few days ago.

Druskin has operated several clothing concepts through the years that he later attempted to consolidate, including LD Len Druskin for women’s professional and dress apparel, LD Blues casual clothes for women, LD Men and Len fast fashion for men and women. At one point, Druskin had seven locations throughout the Twin Cities.

A second store in City Center closed in 2013. In 2014, Michael Druskin closed three stores in Gaviidae Common in downtown Minneapolis. After the closings, Michael Druskin posted on Shoplen.com that he had plans for four new stores to be in the works by 2015.

None of those materialized.

The message on the Druskins’ website on Wednesday said it was under construction.

Under the terms of the purchase agreement, Lemonis said, the Druskins kept the rights to the store name. Lemonis also owns several Bentley’s Pet Stuff locations in the Twin Cities and Camping World in Rogers and Monticello.

Len in City Center Minneapolis has been renamed Shop the Runway.

Source

http://www.startribune.com/len-druskin-stores-close-suddenly/413859793/