Businesses that have managed to survive the ever-changing consumer, the rise of online shopping, and the COVID-19 pandemic certainly stand out. Many of these retailers are smaller operations that have been respected names for generations and well-known by those in their local community. When these shops close, it’s not only a loss of a nearby amenity—it’s also just gutting to see a local standby disappear after so many years. Now, some of these beloved century-old retailers have announced plans to say goodbye. Read on to find out which stores are closing forever.
These aren’t the first small but significant shops to close this year. In September, Folsom General Store in Louisiana confirmed closure plans, having been a community staple since 1938. Suzanne’s Fashion Corner, Ltd., a clothing retailer in Staten Island, New York, closed officially on Oct. 27, with owner Suzanne Berelson telling SILive.com that COVID was the final straw.
Furniture stores are taking a hit as well. Huffman Koos, a retailer in New York and New Jersey, recently confirmed two closures on its Facebook page. Those on the chopping block include its stores in Queens and Middletown, New York, and a location in Freehold, New Jersey. Rotmans Furniture, a furniture store in Worcester, Massachusetts, announced it’s shutting down, too, as did Homestead Furniture in Nescopeck, Pennsylvania.
Now, two stores in different sectors will be closing up shop.
When you head to Target, Walmart, or other bigger chains for your cards and stationery, you accept the fact that someone else may purchase the same item at another location nationwide. Small businesses are your best bet for unique finds—and that’s certainly the case at Borden’s Stationery & Educational Resources.
The store has been a staple in the small town of Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey since 1918, but it will soon see its final day, per an Oct. 31 Facebook post. Barry Lubin has owned the store since 1991, but now he’s looking to retire and confirmed he will do so when the shop’s lease ends in January, Patch reported
“After 105 years serving the Jersey Shore and 32 years of ownership, I am retiring,” the Facebook post reads. “With much consideration and sadness, Borden’s will be closing early next year!” The post also advertises a 15 percent off sale throughout the store.
According to Patch, the store was a hub for teachers looking for school supplies, family members looking for gifts or greeting cards, and brides looking for the perfect wedding invitation. Comments poured in on the Facebook post; many shoppers wrote well wishes to Lubin and said that the store will be sorely missed. “This is so sad! I got so many of my teaching supplies from you over the years!” one Facebook user wrote. “Best of luck in your retirement!”
But even with a loyal customer base, it’s the same story: Borden’s couldn’t keep up with online shopping, as well as those elusive (and never-ending) supply chain disruptions, per Patch.
“The internet has been the biggest change,” Lubin told the outlet. “We survived the chain stores and grew. But now it’s click-click-buy. I don’t see an opportunity for the business to grow for the foreseeable future.”
However, not all hope is lost. In response to a comment asking about whether the store could be taken over by a new owner, the retailer wrote they “would be happy to sell it,” but that there has been no interest to date.
People in Walla Walla, Washington, will be sad to hear the latest news from a business that’s been open for 133 years. Per a Nov. 14 Facebook post, Martin’s Jewelers is closing its doors.
“Since 1889, Martin’s Jewelers has been Walla Walla’s Jeweler, started by my great-grandfather Charles D. Martin,” the post reads. “It’s been our pleasure to provide Walla Walla and surrounding areas with stunning diamonds, gemstone jewelry, watches, and giftware, but alas the time has come for us to say goodbye.”
The post was seemingly written by current owner Erin Mason and her husband, Justin. The store has been passed down through four generations, YakTriNews reported, and was cited by employees as “the longest-running family-owned jewelry store in the Pacific Northwest.” Currently, Martin’s Jewelers is running a going-out-of-business sale, offering up to 70 percent off.
Mason told the outlet that the store will be open “at least through Christmas, as inventory lasts.” As far as a reason for the closure, Mason said that she felt it was necessary in order to focus on spending time with family and her daughter, specifically. “One thing I learned through the struggles that everybody’s been going through the last couple of years is how important family is,” she told YakTriNews.