Picture of Dr. Linda Algazi, Ph.D

January 25, 2014

My name is Linda and I am a Loehmann’s junkie, now in a forced recovery. Loehmann’s is going out of business.

For the uninitiated, Loehmann’s, has been a national chain of discount stores, specializing in high fashion at reduced prices. High fashion is in my blood. Scoring a find with a good price is not so bad either.


Not enough to get me love-hooked, though.

I grew up, sitting on the gold lions in front of Mrs. Loehmann’s original store in Brooklyn, New York. My mother, you see, was also a Loehmann’s junkie. Addictions do tend to run in families.

I remember Mrs. Loehmann… Frieda, my mother called her. I was only five when she was about 90, but she reigned over her disciples in a most glamorous way. Maybe she wasn’t tall and maybe she didn’t always wear black, but that’s what I remember.

There was more to it than “shopping.” Please understand. I never have been turned on by the prospect of hanging out in just any mall or department store.

What I loved about Loehmann’s was the hunt… for a prize, an unusual item, a special find. And how the regulars, greeted each other like sorority sisters. Loehmanns was so much about them too.

The original store didn’t even have dressing rooms and the “sisters,” who knew to wear long slips for modesty, tried on clothes in the aisles.

Rumor had it, that at least some of the men, who sat on gilded thrones on a second story with a clear view of undressed women, came unaccompanied, on their lunch hours.

Nobody seemed to care. Maybe they did, but I was five and I didn’t notice.

As the company expanded through the country, Loehmann’s held on to the remnants of the tradition, providing a common dressing area.

It was in those dressing rooms, that the sisterhood made friends, gave fashion advice and shared stories. Fashionable women, of like minds, all ages, came from everywhere.

I loved that I never failed to find a white limo parked in front of one Loehmann’s store, announcing Annette’s presence. In her eighties, she was just one of the gang.

Everyone one of us has a Loehmann’s story.

Once, I’ll now admit, I hit five separate Loehmann’s stores in five separate cities in ten days. While visiting in New York, I’ve always included both the store on Broadway in the seventies as well as the one all the way downtown on nineteenth street. It has been a point of pride to walk the walk, between the two stores on every trip.

After my Mom died and I had picked up her ashes from the mortuary, I took her, her ashes that is, on a final trip to Loehmann’s.

Irreverent? She would have loved it.

I relished the day, the store moved right into my town. They knew about me, I guess. And about Arlene and Linda and Ilene, Sharon, Donna, Lois, Olga, Myra, Barbara, Ruth and all the others, who lived nearby.

My addiction escalated. Several times a week, I checked out the new arrivals on my lunch break. The “sisterhood” was often there. They were as much a part of the experience as the clothes. It takes one to know one, so I had to come out of the closet. There was no possibility of hiding any longer. Everyone knew: Loehmann’s was my clubhouse.

I didn’t even need to buy anything to get my “shopping fix”.

It’s all over now, but the depressing, final sales. My friends and family, all over the country, who understand, have sent letters of condolences. “What will you do?” they ask.

I don’t know what I will do.

I’m not happy about all this, but I am a clinical psychologist… a love doctor… who has always insisted, that for every ending, there is a beginning. At least when it comes to love.

We’ve had great times together, Loehmann’s. I’ll never forget. It is just time to move on.

Thanks For Visiting,

Email Dr. Linda

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