ANDERSONVILLE — Another business is closing its Andersonville store, looking to focus on its flagship location and online business.
The T-Shirt Deli will close its shop at 1482 W. Berwyn Ave., management for the business announced Tuesday in an email to customers. The store has been closed to in-person shopping during the pandemic, but orders can be picked up at the Andersonville shop until Feb. 20, owner Ninel Pompushko said.
“After 14 delightful years in Andersonville, we’ve made the difficult but exciting decision to shutter our Andersonville location so that we can focus on our growing online business, expand our offerings and pursue more creative ways to bring T-shirt ideas straight to your door in less time with less hassle,” management wrote in the email.
T-Shirt Deli’s Bucktown spot at 1739 N. Damen Ave. will remain open.
The custom T-shirt and gift shop opened in Bucktown in 2003 before expanding to Andersonville. But small businesses have suffered from the presence of national chains, Pompushko told Block Club in November.
The business is considering different ways to keep a local presence despite leaving the store, including buying a personalized delivery truck, she said Thursday.
“We love Andersonville. We’re trying to do everything we can to keep our Andersonville people happy,” Pompushko said. “We have a lot of ideas working.”
The coronavirus pandemic has only heightened the struggles of mom-and-pop businesses. The custom T-shirt business in particular has been hurt by the coronavirus-caused cancellations of events like the Pride Parade and music festivals, Pompushko said.
“We’re not gonna be around if we don’t have business,” Pompushko said in November. “We won’t be here if everybody goes to Amazon. That’s across the board. If everyone goes to Home Depot, we won’t have little hardware stores.”
T-Shirt Deli is not the only business to close its Andersonville store and focus more on its online presence. The art supplies shop Martha Mae, 5407 N. Clark St., closed at the end of August to focus on its digital operation.
Andersonville has lost a number of local businesses since the pandemic started in the spring.
Candyality closed at Clark and Farragut at the end of September, shifting its focus to its flagship location in Lakeview. Another national chain, Hair Cuttery, closed its Clark Street location in June after filing for bankruptcy. Another hair salon has since taken its place.
Antiques store Brimfield closed at the end of 2020, though the pandemic was not cited for its closure.
To check out T-Shirt Deli’s online store, click here.
Subscribe to Block Club Chicago. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.