Glenwood loses Hallmark, keeps Goody |

Glenwood loses Hallmark, keeps Goody

Robin Haney doesn’t know what’s next for her, but with the closing of her Grand Avenue store she realizes that she’s meant to be doing something else. Haney, owner of Robin’s Hallmark, said Monday she plans to shutter Glenwood’s only Hallmark store no later than mid-March, after she begins liquidating at the end of February. The former Houston bank manager and teacher bought Robin’s Hallmark when it was at Glenwood Springs Mall in 1992 and moved downtown in 2003 after her lease at the mall expired. Haney said she’s closing the Hallmark shop for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the store’s new location, which is a short flight of stairs above Grand Avenue. The space hasn’t been kind to her business. In the summertime, trees obscure the store’s signs and customers sometimes don’t notice the shop several feet above street level, she said. She said Grand Avenue was torn up twice after she opened, once for a pipeline and again for the massive resurfacing project that wrapped up last year. “Business was dismal,” Haney said. But even after construction was completed, a general lack of parking downtown has been a challenge, she said. “There is parking available from time to time,” she said. “What local people want is parking available in front of the store all the time.”Haney said she’s also frustrated that some of the neighboring business owners sometimes park along the street in front of their businesses. The block on Grand Avenue between Eighth Street and Ninth Street can accommodate 13 or 14 parallel-parked cars, including one in a space for the handicapped. She said that if business owners park there, it’s a missed opportunity for someone to park nearby and spend money at their stores. Another issue making business on Grand Avenue difficult, she said, is that there is a general perception among locals that downtown has been turned over to tourists. “We’ve got to draw the local customers downtown,” she said, adding that she tried to make that point to the Downtown Business Association. “I think it’s a futile effort.”But those issues by themselves weren’t quite enough for Haney to decide to call it quits. “The straw that broke the camel’s back was the big stores in the Meadows,” she said. Target, Pier 1 Imports and Bed Bath and Beyond all opened in October and November with Christmas merchandise already on the shelves – long before Haney was able to receive her Christmas goods. And it hurt business, she said. Sales were down 40 percent in November and 30 percent in December. When the new big-box stores open, even their detractors will visit and most likely spend money, she said. “There’s only so many dollars in the pie.”At the end of 2005, that pie didn’t include Robin’s Hallmark. Other factors were involved in deciding to close, she said. Possibly hurting business, she said, is that the way people send greetings has changed in the last decade with the rise of e-mail, cell phones and computer programs that allow users to create their own greeting cards. In the end, she said, “I’m not blaming anybody.”As to what’s next for her, Haney said, “I’m keeping my heart and mind open to all possibilities.”Goody still got itThe Glenwood Springs Sam Goody store survived the compact disc retail chain’s spate of store closings following the bankruptcy filing of its parent, Musicland Inc., in January.The Roaring Fork Marketplace store is one of only two Sam Goody stores that will remain open in Colorado after Musicland shutters nine others scattered throughout Front Range cities by the end of March, said Musicland spokeswoman Laurie Bauer. “The Glenwood store is among one of the top stores that we operate,” she said. “We determined that it was a store we felt had strong prospects for future growth.”Sam Goody will remain open in Durango, and a Musicland-owned Suncoast Motion Picture Co. will remain in Colorado Springs. The Minneapolis-based company recently shut down its entire MediaPlay division, leaving storefronts empty across the Front Range and on the 16th Street Mall in downtown Denver. Musicland is in the process of shuttering more than half of its 833 Sam Goody, Suncoast and MediaPlay stores spread across 49 states.In a January press release, Musicland attributed its bankruptcy to diminishing sales in the CD and DVD industry because of the increased popularity of music downloading and growing competition from big-box stores.Contact Bobby Magill: 945-8515, ext.

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