Skip to content New York Chinatown's Asian Pearl River Mart closing store next year

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(Reuters) – Pearl River Mart, New York Chinatown’s landmark emporium for everything Asian since 1971, will close its flagship store in early 2021 as the pandemic has left the family owners unable to pay the rent.

“We just were not able to come to an agreement with our landlord,” said Pearl River President Joanne Kwong, who left her career as a communications executive and attorney to take over the business in 2016.

Pearl River was founded by Kwong’s in-laws who arrived as graduate students from Taiwan at a time when Communist China was shrouded in mystery for most Americans.

The latest location for the flagship store is in Tribeca, in Lower Manhattan.

Katie Morita, who lives in Montclair, New Jersey, traveled to the Tribeca store with her two daughters for their final visit.

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