Community helps family-owned store reopen after looters destroy Bronzeville business

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A family-owned clothing store is finally back open after looters ransacked the place in May.

The store didn't have insurance, but support from the community is helping them get back on their feet.

It's been a challenge for the Kim family to get the doors back open at City Fashions at E 34th Street and King Drive in Chicago's Bronzeville.

"I never worked so hard before and finally just being open is unreal feeling right now," said Edward Kim.

Several stores in the strip mall were hit by looters. Kim said his dad watched as their livelihood was destroyed within minutes.

"One person broke the window at the front door and 20 to 30 people went into the store and ransacked the place," he said. "That's when my dad was outside in the parking lot just watching."

"This store is like a family business, so I know them," said customer Kanisha Hudson. "I am always shopping here, so I was upset."

At the time of the incident, the family said they were shopping for a new insurance policy.

"The next day we went [and] he saw the actual destruction, the results," Kim said. "He just like, kind of fainted."

The store was already struggling to recover from the COVID-19 stay at home order.

The family started a GoFundMe and was able to raise $200,000 in a little more than a week.

"I got to say, it helps so much when you there is good people out there looking out for you," Kim said.

The Kims have since moved into a new space within the same strip mall earlier this summer and started renovations.

"Everything needed to be fixed like HVAC, water; the roof needed to be fixed. So it was a process," Kim said. "We had to take out all the carpet and replace it was new floors and paint the whole place."

The family said they are hoping that their hard times are now in the past as their new space marks a new beginning.

"We have a lot of long term customers coming back saying that they are happy that we are reopen. It is nice to see how many people actually care," Kim said.
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