Owner Michael Pierce said the constant construction and deconstruction in the downtown area, the lack of parking and increasing rental costs caused a noticeable drop in foot traffic.
© Jeff Harper/Metro
Christmas by the Sea on Hollis Street.
[HALIFAX, NS] - After 27 years in business, Christmas by the Sea is closing due to lack of foot traffic and tourists.
The independent store on Hollis Street will be open for sales until March 31 and will close permanently on April 30.
Owner Michael Pierce said customers that have shopped at his store for years were shocked by news of the closure.
“They say, ‘You’ve always been here, I thought you’d always be,’” he said.
Pierce said the constant construction and deconstruction in the downtown area, the lack of parking and increasing rental costs caused a noticeable drop in foot traffic.
“It makes it not feasible to continue at this point in time,” he said.
When he first opened, people would walk through the downtown core, taking their time to browse through various stores on foot.
“It’s not happening like that anymore,” said Pierce.
The increase in chain retailers and people buying local wares from non-locally owned stores have also negatively impacted independent retailers, heh said.
“We know what the big stores carry and search for the things they don’t,” said Pierce. “You don’t get the same selection of products or service quality in a chain store.”
“It’s been a privilege to be in this shop for all these years and be a part of people’s Christmases,” said Pierce. “It’s sort of an extended family thing with our customers. We’re really going to miss that.”