NEWBURYPORT — A longtime fixture of the downtown shopping scene is closing its doors at the end of the month.
But the good news for fans of Ivy Lane, a Pleasant Street home decoration store, is that it will be moving inside local antique store Mill 77 Trading Company and the Canal Street Antique Mall in Lawrence.
Co-owner Jennifer Wilkins called the move a happy event as it will give her and fellow store owner Cheryl Judge more time to do more of what they love — treasure hunting, custom painting and home style services.
“I’m super excited about the move but when February comes, I’ll have a moment,” Wilkins said. “I’ll miss my customers.”
Regular customer Tony Capela, who was at the store buying several burlap Christmas stockings last week, said he would miss stopping by on his lunch break every Wednesday. Capela added, however, that he would follow the co-owners to their new locations.
“It’s going to be a great thing for them,” Capela said.
Chris Johnston of the Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry said the Chamber will be sad to see them leave downtown.
“But we’re happy they are staying in Newburyport. That area of the business park is really coming alive,” Johnston said. “Their store and cheerful attitude will fit right in out there.”
Wilkins said while the main impetus behind the move, which is taking place more than five years after opening on Pleasant Street, was to change direction and free up more time for what she’s passionate about, there were other factors.
“Was the rent high? Yes,” Wilkins said. “Parking is really a challenge.”
Wilkins also said the store’s location, tucked away from main shopping conduits, and her inability to put out the kind of outdoor displays she would like also made it harder as a store owner.
“But that’s definitely not why we are moving,” Wilkins said.
As of Dec. 7, a new tenant for Ivy Lane had yet to be found.
When the move is complete, Wilkins and Judge will pay about the same amount in rent but with one important distinction — less overhead. By less overhead, Wilkins referred to paying less for electricity, insurance and other expenditures that come with running a brick-and-mortar location.
When asked to describe the general health of the downtown shopping scene, Wilkins said there’s been a reduction in foot traffic recently with the biggest drop-off coming from local shoppers.
She blamed the reduction on more people shopping online. A common scenario: Shoppers come into a store, find an item they like and then see if they can buy it cheaper online.
“It’s just a weird time for retailers now,” Wilkins said.
Source : http://www.newburyportnews.com/news/local_news/ivy-lane-home-decor-shop-to-move-out-of-downtown/article_23179ba1-66c1-57b3-a41f-8452f0fb15ab.html496