The interior of Therapy's furniture store. The shop on Valencia Street will be closing after 13 years of business.

Therapy, the boutique filled with kitschy knickknacks, cards and clothes on Valencia Street, will be closing after 13 years of business, according to Uptown Almanac. The shop has 10 locations scattered throughout the Bay Area including three in San Francisco, but its Valencia Street location will be shutting its doors in three weeks. Uptown Almanac reached out to the owner, Wayne Whelan, for the details. 

When reached by phone, Therapy’s owner Wayne Whelan explained that he simply couldn’t afford the 84% rent increase his landlord demanded. Whelan said he wanted to stay open until the end of the year, and that he was willing to pay the increased monthly rent to do so, but that he couldn’t commit to the new five year lease the landlord was demanding. The landlord, the Daljeet family, wouldn’t have it. “There was no negotiation. It was like, ‘take it or leave it,’” says Whelan.

Faced with a rent that increased from $5,700 to $10,500 as of August 1st, Whelan paid the higher rent for August, but decided that he would be unable to sign a new long term lease at the increased rate.

Another Valencia Street store up on the chopping block is Clothes Contact, who faces a similar situation of sky-high rent and will close at the end of year.

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  1. Most of the stores recently reported as closing were ones I had either never heard or had never needed. But Therapy was a decent store and I bought a few things there.

    So it’s sad but I never really understood how the economics could work for a store in this line of business that inherently needs size and scale.

    And the simple fact is that these are not the kind of things that you need to buy in your own neighborhood, since they are occasional or impulsive purchases. It’s not like a store that sells apples, lightbulbs and bathroom tissue.

    But life moves on and I’m excited to see what business moves in. Every change is an opportunity.

  2. I was under the impression that the furniture store was closing but the clothing/gift/etc. shop was staying. At least that’s what the signage looks like.

  3. The furniture store at 541 Valencia street is closing and relocating to 1428. Park street in Alameda. The therapy location at 545 Valencia street is our first location, and fortunately, has a different landlord and is not closing. The clothing store will stay open for as long as possible . We ‘d like to thank folks for all their kind words and best wishes, and hope to being serving you all for years to come. Feel free to stop by, bring cash and your best haggling skills. We’ll be closing 541 on August 29 th.

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