A pair of longtime Red Deer businesses are set to close their doors for good.
Red Deer Lighting and the Southpointe Hallmark on 50th Avenue recently announced they will both close by the end of February.
Ryan Philip, managing partner of Red Deer Lighting, which has been in the city for 32 years, said it was a difficult decision to shutter the business.
“We had an opportunity to sell the building, so we did,” said Philip. “We decided to go out on our own terms instead of suffering through the next few years. It’s a tough decision, but the right decision.”
Philip said the slow market and sales from online distributors have affected the store.
“There are some mixed emotions. We’re happy to be going out on the right foot, but it’s sad to be leaving. We have great customers, great history,” Philip said.
Philip and his wife bought into Red Deer Lighting 10 years ago – his parents started the business in Parkland Mall in 1987.
“My parents are going to retire and I have a few things I’m going to be looking at. I’ll take a bit of time off and relax, because it’s been busy the past eight months. We’ll see what the future holds,” he said.
The business will officially close Feb. 7 – it could close sooner, depending on how much inventory is sold.
Sylvia Starchuk has owned the Southpointe Hallmark for 18 years. She also owned the Hallmark in Parkland Mall from 1997 to 2011.
“Right now, it’s tough as a small business,” she said. “Over the past few years … expenses are going up, sales are going down and it gets to a point where things don’t add up anymore.”
Starchuk said sales aren’t rising for a number of reasons, including a changing market and the popularity of online shopping and big-box stores.
“I’ve got 10 staff and we’re a team,” she said. “They love it here … and I hate to put them out of part-time or full-time jobs. It’s been nothing but sadness for our regular customers since the time we announced what we’re doing.”
Starchuk said she’s getting ready for retirement as well.
“I had to ask myself if I wanted to tie myself into another five-year lease.
“It’s too risky for me to do it,” she said. “I’ve loved every day of it … and I wish we could continue. I would’ve rather sold it, but it just didn’t happen.”
The building’s lease will expire Feb. 28, but Starchuk said with the way product is moving, Hallmark could close sooner.
Hallmark and Red Deer Lighting aren’t the only local businesses closing in 2019. The Coles book store in Parkland Mall closed its doors for good Saturday, and Kids in Harmony, a children’s toy store in north Red Deer, will close Jan. 31.