Port Orchard’s second-hand boutique with the provocative name is planning to close up shop at the end of this month.
“Bitch’s Britches,” which opened a year ago this month in an 1,800-square-foot space in the Westbay Center, has offered clothes buyers a wide array of gently used women’s — and some men’s — clothing, as well as accessories. It also has offered formal dresses and tuxedos for nightly rental.
The store’s owner, Marleen VanLeuven, says she’s “loved every aspect of the business.” But despite the current popularity of similar clothing stores nationwide, VanLeuven said her business was unable to generate enough revenue to make her lease payments.
“I’m disappointed that we haven’t been able to make the store a success. But still, I’ve had an amazing time,” she said.
“I know if I had two more years to grow the business, it would’ve been able to make it.”
The business was a venture she shared with her mother, Sharon Duncan.
One aspect of the business helped out the Port Orchard community. Proceeds from the sale of donated items were given to South Kitsap Helpline.
VanLeuven said she hasn’t spoken with her landlord about a lease reduction, and they haven’t offered one. Even so, she said they’ve had a good working relationship.
She said sales from August to October were tepid, to say the least. Some days, VanLeuven said, the store didn’t register a single sale.
While the business is aiming for a Dec. 30 closing date, it could be delayed until sometime in January in order to sell off the inventory.
“One thing I would have done differently is not to have had as much back-stock,” she said.
“We’re overloaded with clothing. If I didn’t have that issue, we probably could continued on for another couple of months.”
VanLeuven has instituted a 50-percent sale on store items, which has proven to be successful. “We’ve been bringing in about $300 a day for the past two weeks.”
She said she’ll sell what remains on eBay after the business closes.
Does she have future plans to reopen the business or start another in the future? She said it’s a possibility, but more likely she’ll head down another path: “Retirement sounds good right now. It’ll be nice to be able to take trips and do things I want to do.”
The store is at 1341 Bay St., and is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.