Alex and Ani, the Rhode Island jewelry company that turned base metal bangles with feel-good messages into high fashion, is closing 20 retail stores as well as its East Greenwich headquarters in the former Bostitch building on South County Trail. The writing was on the wall for the EG location ever since the company announced in March it would outsource its warehousing and mail order operations. But the move signals the end of an era. Alex and Ani was established by creator Carolyn Rafaelian in 2004 and opened its first retail store in Newport in 2009. There was an Alex and Ani shop on Main Street (where Kai Bar is today) from 2011 to 2015.
Rafaelian left the company in 2020; Alex and Ani filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2021.
Alex and Ani has been delinquent in their tax payments to East Greenwich since 2021. According to the town finance department, the company owes $175,252 for 2021; $30,789 for 2022; and $147,346 for 2023 (which isn’t due until Sept. 1).