I have written before about the slow death of the retail area my other store is in, Kerrisdale. Here is our current ‘Halloween’ window - get it ? My partner Brent made the tombstones , but we didn’t have room for them all …….. = so many recently deceased shops. What used to be a charming and envied retail ‘village’ is becoming a mess of sushi places, dollar store eyesores and coffee shops. The ‘newer merchants’ that I talk to are very disappointed in their sales figures and wonder what happened to the area. The reality of the retail Kerrisdale is far different than the perception the public has. Watch with your own eyes the transformation. I also feel the time has come to leave…. We are so glad we don’t have a lease ! Pity the people who just signed a five or ten year lease, at very high rents, on their own Titanic. Read the mental unravellings of one of them (an over-the-top attack on me) by looking up my nursery on Google Maps, under comments. The phony name isn’t fooling anyone, Babs. I see two more stores in ‘our’ block have closed this month.
I wonder if it is the same everywhere ? South Granville isn’t looking so great anymore, either …. lots of vacancies as of late. I used to pray for a store to be available there. Now there are half a dozen sitting empty.
HOBBS opened in 1989. We were Vancouver’s first ‘home store’ . There was no such thing back then. We went to Italy and France and imported our own stuff . Gorgeous dishes, linens, lamps, and small furniture all artfully displayed in an old Chinese grocery shop. Thinking back , it was normal for people to buy nice things for themselves and as gifts for others. We managed to employ fabulous, long term staff for 23 years !! We paid millions of dollars in rent !!! It is not that ‘we couldn’t make it ‘ – hardly. we ‘made it ‘ for almost a quarter century ! I opened my namesake florist shop 38 years ago. And, if it was at all worthwhile, we would stay. But, as all our kind,sad,understanding customers are telling us all day long, every day – they simply don’t like coming to Kerrisdale anymore. Parking is no longer free on the street, most of their familiar merchants are gone, the sidewalks are dirty, the pedestrians are more like Space Aliens than anyone who would say ‘Hello’ or get out of your way on the sidewalk as you pass .
But now it is over. And not just for me …..just wait…. the apparently irresistible ’Target’ is coming to Oakridge Mall quite soon.