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Walden Galleria losing two stores

Walden Galleria will be down two stores in the new year.

Ann Taylor, an upscale women’s clothing chain, will close its Galleria store Jan. 23. It’s part of a larger closure of five stores across New York State. The brand, established in 1954, has been steadily closing stores in recent years, focusing more on Internet sales of its traditional brand while expanding the brick-and-mortar presence of its off-price LOFT brand.

The Galleria store was the only Ann Taylor location in Western New York. The closest store is now in Rochester. Three local LOFT stores will remain open, at Boulevard Mall, Walden Galleria and on North Buffalo Road in Orchard Park.

Tina’s Hallmark Shop spent its last day at the mall Thursday. The same company, Rontina of New York, owns Seasons Bookstore and Gifts. It is based in Olean.

Ron Cecchi, company owner, said sales have been flat for the past three years and, with expenses rising, the numbers no longer make sense at its lower-volume stores.

The Galleria store sold high volumes, he said, though they are half of what they used to be and not high enough to handle such an expensive lease.

It is closing four low-volume stores in total, at the Mid-City Plaza in North Tonawanda, at the D&F Plaza in Dunkirk and at the Chautauqua Mall. Six other locations will remain open: Hallmark stores in Amherst’s Boulevard Consumer Square, Williamsville’s Premier Place, and at the McKinley and Arnot Malls; and Season’s stores at the D&L Plaza in Depew and the Olean Center Mall.