National clothing retailer to close Oleander Drive store in Wilmington

A national women’s clothing retailer is closing one of its Wilmington stores.

An email to Talbots customers said Tuesday that the store at 3607 Oleander Drive will close on Saturday, but also said, “This is not a goodbye,” encouraging shoppers to visit Talbots at Mayfaire Town Center, 6848 Main St.

Talbots is in an exterior building which could be occupied by three new tenants in the future, Randy Kelley of Harbor Retail Partners said in an email. These potential tenants have not yet been announced. Kelley’s company invested in the Hanover Center as part of a joint venture in 2019.

The owners are revamping the downtown landmark, which opened in 1956. They are adding apartments to the site and planning further changes.

Efforts to reach a Talbots representative for more information about the closure of the Hanover center were not immediately successful on Tuesday. According to its website, Talbots has more than 500 locations in the United States and Canada, with its main campus in Hingham, Massachusetts.

In the Hanover Center’s Talbots parking lot on Tuesday afternoon, Barb Raab and volunteers from the nonprofit Monty’s Home loaded furniture and fixtures into a van. The items are donations from the Talbots location for the organization’s thrift store.

Co-founded by Raab in 2007, Monty’s Home operates the Pawsitive Partners prison program. To help fund the program, the Animal Lovers Thrift Shop & Dog Training Center, 401 US 117 South in Burlaw, opened in 2019.

The thrift store, Raab said, “supports our dog rescue. We take the dogs from the shelter, the inmates train them for seven weeks, and we adopt them as pets.”

Other nonprofits are also expected to benefit from Talbots donations.

Talbots joins other national retailers that have closed stores in Wilmington in recent years, including Stein Mart and Pier 1 Imports at Hanover Center, storefronts that were still vacant Tuesday afternoon.

Anne G. Cash