Another day, another “going out of business” banner at another retail store. I saw one a couple of weeks ago at the Freehold Mall, and it made me sad. It’s Charming Charlie’s turn to bid adieu to the malls and the women who loved them throughout the ‘aughts.

Founded in 2004, Charming Charlie’s, which operates 11 stores in NJ, sold jewelry, handbags, apparel, gifts and other items – with a particular emphasis on colorful products. Their stores were amazingly and alluringly colorful —a veritable kaleidoscope of cool stuff that you never needed but had to have anyway.

Back in 2018, Charming Charlie’s, became another casualty of the retail plague that’s felling stores across the country. Back then, they filed for their first bankruptcy which resulted in the closing of about 100 stores. But sadly, any attempts to reorganize and restructure have failed, dooming charming Charlie’s to the same sad fate as the other guys who have succumbed: Bebe, Wet Seal, Delia’s, and all of the other stores that catered to the teen/tween/young miss market.

What’s sad about the loss of charming Charlie’s is that even though its target customer was a woman 35-55, you could shop there, (as I did many times), with your 8,12, 16, or 20 year old daughters, and then find something for yourself. You could hang out there for hours on a girls (or women’s) shopping spree and pick up a few cheap (some not so cheap) accessories to make your day a little better, as buying accessories will for most females!

Sadly, all of the 261 Charming Charlie’s stores in 38 states will be closed by the end of the month. When retail is long gone, I’ll always remember stores that made shopping an experience as opposed to just a purchase. Charming Charlie’s was one of those.

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