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Conway Discount Clothing Chain Closing in New York City

It's the end of an era. Conway discount stores are closing. As of this weekend, a sign on the sole Herald Square location (34th Street btwn 7th and 8th Ave) says the store will close in "7 Days."

Before I relocated to New York City, I was introduced to the discount chain while on a bus trip from Baltimore.  I recall the first time I saw Conway's signature pink bags carried by hurried shoppers in midtown. And Miss Foster, the trip organizer and a bargain hunter from way back, took me to the store for the first time.

Conway store in the Fulton Mall./Tracy E. Hopkins
When I moved here in 1994, my love affair with Conway continued.  I furnished my first apartment with discount knick-knacks and home goods from the store.  And much to my chagrin, in hindsight, I curated most of my wardrobe for my first full-time job from the long-shuttered 42nd Street and Third Avenue store.

One regretful ensemble: Lime green and white checkered pants with a matching lime green polo shirt?  As Tamar Braxton would say, "That ain't hot!" But at the time, I was 24 and my big city style was still evolving.

Conway also evolved with the times.  Years later, I snagged a striped black and white cowl neck top that a woman giving me a detox foot treatment swore was by Marc Jacobs. "Nope, Conway," I said with a knowing smile. "And it was only $11." She was like whaaaat? 

Are the days numbered for Conway's Fulton Mall store?
A couple years ago, however, the bargain department store started to decline. First the lower Manhattan store closed, then two of the mainstay stores in the 34th Street corridor closed. And even though my go-to downtown Brooklyn store in the revitalized (fancy word for gentrified) Fulton Mall moved to an upgraded, three-level space close to Shake Shack, Conway no longer had the same cache. By then, I had become an H&M addict, Forever 21 frequenter and a Joe Fresh acolyte, and with a sale, those fast fashion outlets were just as inexpensive.

While it's not clear if the remaining Brooklyn store is actually closing, the entire chain was sold in January and all signs literally point to that end.* Currently, a big yellow banner says "Everything on Sale." And the store has been having ridiculous sales since after-Christmas, when I scooped up at least 20 holiday gift bags for .50 -.75 each and an adorable fuchsia Christmas tree for only $2.

So hurry to one of the remaining Conway stores near you.  Last week, I picked up a pink bra for only $2.50, black leggings for $2.00 and a lime green Norma Kamail tee for $4 (I guess some things never change).

*Update: I visited the Fulton Street outpost today and two employees say the store isn't closing, it's just "under new management." Stay tuned.

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