Ottawa children's store closing after 76 years
After 76 years of serving the Ottawa-area, Kiddytown will be closing its doors at the end of February.
In a social media post, the owners of Kiddytown announced it would be closing in the new year.
"It is with heavy hearts after 76 years of serving the Ottawa-area that Kiddytown has decided to close down a pillar of the Ottawa community," said Kiddytown.
"It has been our utmost pleasure to serve each and every one of you over all the years."
The family-owned business opened in 1945, focusing on baby and children's retail products.
Kiddytown says in 1945, Goldie Abramson was walking on Rideau Street when she saw Hunts Candy Shop was closing because of the sugar shortage due to the war.
"She knew that Ottawa was missing a store that catered to the needs of parents and kids, especially during the start of what we now know as the 'Baby Boom'," said Kiddytown on its website.
"The idea of renting that space (all 200 square feet) and starting Ottawa’s baby store was very exciting to Goldie (better known as Mrs. A), her husband Charlie and her brother Hy (or Mr. H). So with borrowed money and an 18 month lease, they opened the doors of Kiddytown Ltd."
Currently, Hy's daughters run the day-to-day operation of the two Ottawa locations.
The social media post mentions retirement as the reason for closing.
"I guess I will leave you with three things: First is a big thank you to all the Hymes daughters you have made your father incredibly proud and have earned a well deserved retirement," said Kiddytown.
"Second there are some incredible deals going on as we are starting to clear out inventory and lastly if anybody has any job opportunities for (Mike) I am open to offers."
At Kiddytown on Thursday, the sisters running the store reflected on its 76-year history in Ottawa as they prepare to close the store in the new year.
"At the end of February our lease is due, so I've decided not to renew it," said Rhea Hymes-Hochstadter.
"I think it could be the right time now."
Speaking with CTV News Ottawa on Thursday, Hymes-Hochstadter says issues during the pandemic, including long hours, difficulty hiring staff and supply chain challenges have been a challenge.
Hymes-Hochstadter adds her children were not interested in taking over.
"And my sister's children also. So, there's no succession plan."
Rhea's sister Barbara Elvinson says she will miss "certain aspects" of the retail store. Elvinson remembers her father's approach to customer service.
"(When) times were tough, people could just carrying their bills until they could afford to pay; we’ve heard unbelievable stories over the years from customers as to what my father did for people.”