Adding to the list of local business closures, Little Green Baby, 4654 N. Rockwell Ave., announced in an email this afternoon to shoppers that it plans to close its doors for good by January, sooner if it can liquidate all of its inventory before then. The store will then transition to an online-only version.
“The store closing idea has been swirling for a month or so,” store owner Kim Sledgister told Center Square Journal today. “There’s been some family heath issues [but] the retail overhead and lack of shoppers this holiday season was the nail in the coffin.”
Sledgister, a former Realtor, took over Little Green Baby almost two years ago from a previous owner who had opened the store in 2007. In a recent interview with CSJ, Slegister lamented the discount power of big box stores and the low costs of online stores.
“We got into this two years ago. The store sales had been increasing,” Sledgister said today. “To be profitable, we had to be double where we are. The location is kind of a hinderance. We don’t have the foot traffic we need. The space is an issue. We don’t have room for cribs and furniture, some of those bigger ticket items that are important for baby…We are a baby gift shop. We don’t get a lot of parents who shop for themselves in grand fashion. Someone might come in here and spend $30, but nobody will pick up all the various things they need for a baby.
“Trying to turn a profit with that in mind, shoppers have a very real limit in mind, which is about $50. To make that work, you need about 500 customers a month. We’re pretty far northwest, even though we’re right off the train, that doesn’t work,” Sledgister said.
Little Green Baby will keep its retail store open as long as there’s stock to sell. After that, work begins on the online version.
“We’ll be open until everything is gone. We’ll definately be closed by the end of January, that’s when our lease is up.”