Fox’s Seattle to Close After 112 Years

IndependentsFeb 07, 2024

Fox’s Seattle to Close After 112 Years

The Emerald City mainstay is hosting its final Leap Year Sale beginning this month.

Chai Mann and Zoey Mann
Fox’s Seattle third-generation owner Zoey Mann (right) has announced that the store will close in April after more than a century in business. She’s pictured above in a 2014 portrait with her father, second-generation owner Chai Mann.
Seattle—After 112 years in business, Fox’s Seattle will close its doors April 27 following a special sale.

Third-generation owner Zoey Mann has been the store’s president since 2013 and is closing the business to turn her time and energy to her family, which she calls “her own greatest love.”

The boutique has been a mainstay for Seattleites seeking “exquisitely crafted” jewelry as a reminder of a special moment or reflection of their individual style, the store said.

Harry Fox started the business in 1912 as Fox’s Gem Shop, a small store on Third Avenue.

It later was sold to a man named Herb Meltzer. Meltzer moved the store to The Skinner Building on Fifth Avenue and hired Mann’s maternal grandfather, Sid Thal, as store manager.

Thal bought the store in 1948 for $15,000, plus some money he borrowed from family.

The family kept the store’s name because they couldn’t afford to paint the sign on the door.

Fox’s Seattle staff in 1959
Fox’s staff photo from 1959, when the dress code called for women to wear black dresses and pearls and men to wear suits. Sid Thal is in the back right.

In 1979, the store moved again, opening in the then-newly completed Rainier Tower, where store management soon changed hands to Sid and Berta Thal’s daughter Joy and her husband, Chai Mann.

The couple helped develop the store’s reputation for its award-winning, creative window displays, which have been a Seattle holiday favorite for more than 30 years.

In 2003, the Mann’s daughter Zoey returned to the store.

Chai Mann, Zoey Mann, Berta Thal, Sid Thal, Zach Mann, and Joy Thal Mann
This photo, taken in the late 1980s, shows (left to right) Chai Mann, Zoey Mann, Berta Thal, Sid Thal, Zach Mann, and Joy Thal Mann crossing Union Street just outside the Fox’s Seattle (then Fox’s Gem Shop) location at the time, in the Rainier Tower.

In 2014, a year after Zoey was named president, Fox’s Gem Shop was renamed Fox’s Seattle. 

In 2017, the store moved to its current and final location in the Fairmount Olympic Hotel.

“Closing Fox’s Seattle has been a difficult decision, but it is the right decision,” Zoey said. 

“Fox’s Seattle has been part of my family for 75 years. The store has been a second home, and we are forever grateful to the employees, designers, and customers who have joined us on our journey.”

Over the years, the store has fostered a family-like atmosphere, it said, providing the local and regional community with a “highly curated” assortment of designers and one-of-a-kind pieces. 

Its downtown boutique was distinguished by its “high-touch, low-pressure” buying experience that focused on exceptional service and a well-considered selection.

Fox’s Seattle also has been active in its community, donating to Vashon Island arts organizations, Northwest Harvest, the Pike Place Market Foundation, Mary’s Place, Jewish Family Services, the Seattle Symphony, and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, among others.

“The people have always been at the heart of Fox’s Seattle, and I will miss them most of all,” said Zoey, who had hoped to sell the business so that it could continue in its long tradition. 

“Unfortunately, the business climate has changed dramatically in recent years, and a sale has not yet proven viable. Our focus is now on winding down our operations.”

The store remains available for sale, and Zoey is open to entertaining options should they arise. 

As of now, all three of the store’s full-time associates have been offered severance packages.

 Related stories will be right here … 

Sales have been rare throughout the store’s history, making its recurring Leap Year Sale—a decades-long fixture of the business—a highly anticipated event for regular clientele. 

The store will pay tribute to its final Leap Day with “The Final Leap: A Celebration Sale,” offering discounts that will increase as the shop approaches its April closing date.

Sid Thal and Chai Mann
Employees of Fox’s Seattle have had a longstanding tradition of cutting a necktie after making a big sale. On the day this photo was taken in 1986, Sid Thal had closed a huge sale so Chai Mann grabbed the scissors and cut his tie.

“We couldn’t close our doors without one last celebration for our customers and designers,” Zoey said.

“Our Leap Year Sale will look a little different this time, as it will be our last hurrah. Of course, we’ll offer discounts similar to past sales, but the discounts should grow deeper as we approach our closing date. Because we have a number of one-of-a-kind items and we will not be placing any further orders, we encourage customers to come in early to find the pieces that speak to them.”

The sale will begin in-store only on at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 29, and will continue until all inventory is sold or the doors close at 5 p.m. on April 27.

The sale will start online after March 4.

Throughout the sale, Fox’s Seattle will be open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and is located at 405 University St. in Seattle, at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel. 

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