Sockshop closes after 5 years of business

Yoojin Chung/Staff

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Sockshop, a local footwear boutique popular among tourists in Berkeley, closed last month to the surprise of many Telegraph Avenue shoppers.

Sockshop announced its impending closure on its Facebook page Jan. 6 and officially closed Jan. 22. The store was known for its diverse selection of socks.

The store, which opened in March 2012, was among three Bay Area locations — the other two including one on Haight Street in San Francisco and another in Santa Cruz.

The store’s sudden closure surprised even some of those who work nearby its now-vacated location at 2505 Telegraph Ave.

“(Sockshop) closed randomly,” said Chris Nunan, an employee at streetwear boutique Upper Playground, which is adjacent to Sockshop’s former address.

Nunan said Sockshop brought a lot of customers into the area and the surrounding businesses. Since Sockshop’s closure, he said, Upper Playground’s foot traffic has gone down.

Blair Dishon, however, who wrote a profile of the store for BARE Magazine in 2014, was unsurprised that the store went out of business.

“There was tons of foot traffic … yet few people walked out of the store with anything,” Dishon said in an online message. “It seemed to be more of a window shopping store for most people.”

Nevertheless, she said the loss of this “very Berkeley establishment” is indicative of a trend of local independent stores going out of business.

Sockshop joins Smart Alec’s Intelligent Food and Pacific Cookie Co. on the list of recently closed businesses along the north side of Telegraph Avenue.

“The more that we lose these establishments that are Berkeley landmarks the more we’re going to see chain establishments like Taco Bell replace our uniqueness with bland marks of conformity,” Dishon said in an online message.

Sockshop & Shoe Co.’s managers were unavailable for comment as of press time.

Contact Connor Bunnell at [email protected].