It’s the end of an era for a well-known Icehouse Mall retailer.
After 19 years in business, will close its doors on April 30.
Owner Rusty Hernandez said the decision to close his store was not an easy one, but with business declining at a steady rate of 30 percent each year, he didn’t have much of a choice.
“As much as we try to get out there on social media and promotions and what have you, it’s gotten to the point where 30 dedicated customers can’t sustain a small business year round. A lack of customer support is really disheartening,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez put his heart and soul into his business, which sells home accents and gifts. Once sales reached the point where the cost of running the business exceeded what his profit margin was, he decided keeping the store open no longer made sense.
“It’s been something we’ve been battling for a couple of years…the emotional side of the brain was overtaking the logical side of the brain,” he said.
Over the years, the Icehouse Mall’s owner has been extremely helpful to Hernandez if he’s ever in a financial bind. If Hernandez couldn’t make rent one month, the owner would allow him to pay two months rent the following month. Coupled with already low lease rates, Hernandez said he’s been pleased with his experience there.
“The Icehouse Mall owner was extremely helpful. If it hadn’t been for him, we would have been closing three years ago,” he said.
To mark the end of the store’s 19-year existence, Hernandez is holding a 40 percent off all merchandise sale until April 30. When the doors close on his business for the last time, he said he’ll miss his staff and customers the most.
“I’ll miss the great friendships,” he said. “The staff, we’ve become like a second family, and some of the amazing friendships that have developed over the years with some of our phenomenal customers. That’s the most heartbreaking part of it. Missing our true loyal fans,” he said.
Hernandez has no plans to open another retail store in the future, even though other communities have pursued him.
“I’m so disillusioned by the community at large. This is one path I’m not going to take again,” he said.
The Barrington Home Shoppe will officially close on April 30, although Hernandez hopes the 28th will be the last business day. For more information on the sale, call (847) 304-9627.