South Charlotte

Steve & Barry's future unsure

Is retailer Steve & Barry's the next to bite the dust?

A report in the Wall Street Journal last week said the retailer – home to celebrity clothing lines by actresses Sarah Jessica Parker and Amanda Bynes, and surfer Laird Hamilton – may close more than 100 of its stores because of low profits.

The newspaper reported Steve & Barry's also was preparing for a potential bankruptcy filing, citing sources familiar with the company. The retailer has three Charlotte-area stores – one on Sardis Road North, the others in Rock Hill and Gastonia.

A spokeswoman for Steve & Barry's had no comment on the company's financial situation as of Thursday.

Store closings across the southern Mecklenburg landscape have become a sadly familiar scenario in the struggling U.S. economy.

Among the SoMeck retail departures: Metropolis clothing store in Ballantyne Village, As Seen on TV, Etc. in Carolina Place Mall, the Bombay furniture chain, also with a store at Carolina Place Mall, the Sofa Express furniture chain, including the outlet in Matthews, and Alcoves, a gifts and home décor shop at Stonecrest.

And, among eateries: Table Restaurant and Bar and Under the Grape at Ballantyne Village , Sterling's at The Fountains off Ardrey Kell Road, and The Americana in Pineville.

Even one-time Goliath Starbucks Corp. announced last week it will close 600 company-operated stores in the next year. No word yet on specific locations.

TrySports scores

Here's a retailer celebrating success: TrySports in the Blakeney Shopping Center was named “Best in South Atlantic” by Runner's World Magazine's 2008 Runner's Choice Awards. More than 3,350 runners nationwide voted for their favorite independent running store that demonstrates an ongoing commitment to the local running community.

The magazine credits the store with making its mark on the endurance sport community in just one year. The specialty running store also sells swimming and cycling equipment and has a bike mechanic on site.

Hello, ShipOnSite

ShipOnSite, an eBay office and shipping center, is now open in Robinson Corners at 11914 Elm Lane (next to Fiji Nail Salon). The center features AuctionsOnSite where you can drop off items to sell on eBay. For a percentage of the sales price, the center handles research, photography, collection of funds, and shipping.

The business-and-residential shipping center offers DHL, FedEx, large freight shipping, wrapping and packaging, copying and faxing, stamps, and pre-shipment of luggage. It also provides notary services, sells passport photos and moving boxes, and rents mailboxes. Details: 704-544-5009.