AG Ferrari, which has had a presence on College Avenue for 27 years, abruptly closed its doors today.
The CEO, Jarett Peppard, sent out a statement thanking the community and employees but did not include any details about why the store is shutting down.
“After 27 years, we will be closing the College Avenue AG Ferrari store today,” Peppard wrote. “We are grateful for the opportunity to have served the Elmwood community since opening this location in October of 1990 and for the support of the local community. We have been honored to provide you and your families with the highest quality products for nearly three decades.”
The employees will be offered jobs at other AG Ferrari locations, Peppard said.
The high cost of doing business contributed to the decision, according to Lindsay Cumming, an account manager for PR Magnum, which sent out the press release.
“The College Avenue store was performing incredibly well, as have all the AG Ferrari stores; however, the cost of doing business in the Bay Area, particularly in regards to supporting wages and benefits, has increased in the 27 years of doing business in this location,” Cumming wrote in an email. “The AG Ferrari team did not take this decision lightly. As the team approaches their 100-year anniversary in 2019, they continue to evolve the business to best serve customers.”
The minimum wage in Berkeley is currently $12.53 an hour. It will increase to $15 an hour in 2018.
The abrupt closure of AG Ferrari is just the most recent retail collapse in a once-thriving district. In the past few months, Jeremy’s, a clothing store; The Tree House, a gift boutique; Le Panotiq, a bakery; and The Advocate, a high-concept restaurant started by the founders of the extremely successful Comal, have shuttered. Lululemon, an athletic apparel store, will soon move to Fourth Street.
AG Ferrari will continue to operate four other retail stores at 4001 Piedmont Ave. and 6119 La Salle Ave. in Oakland and 688 Mission Street and 3490 California St. in San Francisco.
A Solano Avenue location closed in 2011.