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Jay Jacobs was a clothing retailer based in downtown Seattle, Washington, founded in 1941 by its namesake Jay Jacobs. It specialized in trendy clothing for teens, mainly targeting girls. Although the company's first 20 years saw the opening of only two more stores, it was largely profitable at its height in the mid-1980s and operated 288 stores in 22 western states by 1993. However, 1992 saw a major about face from success and many of the stores, especially in southern California, were becoming unprofitable and were closed. Although the cause of the turnaround is difficult to put a finger on, a recession, which proved troublesome for many retailers, could have been partially to blame. Some thought the company was expanding too quickly and its assets were spread too thin. Others argued that Jacobs had lost touch with the rapidly changing fashion trends and that he never gave his son-in-law enough control over the company. In an attempt to gain back lost business, the company tried to expand its target audience by going after young adults with career oriented clothing.

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