Historic Store Forced to Close its Doors

By Rachel Bianco
|  Thursday, Jan 8, 2009  |  Updated 10:27 AM PDT
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Calling It Quits

The lack of spending has retailers in North County making changes.

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Calling It Quits

The San Diego City store in the lobby of the city administration building is closing for good. San Diegans will have to find a new place to buy souvenirs like used parking meters, street signs, hats and shirts.
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A store filled with San Diego nostalgia is closing its doors.

The San Diego City Stores in the lobby of the City Administration Building downtown is going out of business.  Two other locations, Seaport Village and Horton Plaza closed last year.  Bob Hood has been co-manager of the store since it opened 17 years ago.

"Like any retailer, we've experienced the same kind of downturn and the visitor industry where we had a store at Seaport Village seems to be dropping off a bit, and we just made the determination it wasn't going to be any better for awhile and we didn't want to put the city at risk," said Hood.

The store has sold everything from used parking meters, to street signs, to old seats from Qualcomm Stadium.

"Oh, I miss it, we've had it for 17 years, and there are great stories people buying things for different reasons, and adapting parking meters to uses you'd never think of, " said Hood.

The store will hold its going out of business sale, with everything marked down 80%, Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m to 5 p.m

The lack of spending has retailers in North County making changes.

In just the last few months, three businesses have moved out of the Village By the Sea on Carlsbad Boulevard. 

Suzanne Wunsch owns Seaside Bloom, a specialty wedding floral boutique. She says the lack of foot traffic has her trying another location and relying more on her website to generate customers.

"I think with the economy being what it is, people are looking online for the best deal, and they are not really looking toward retail type of establishments to provide those types of services, " said Wunsch as she turned over her keys to the building manager.

Her neighbor, Maria Hoppe, owner of Casamor Interiors is also moving on and moving out. The interior designer is hoping to keep her company afloat from home.

"As far as sales go, the sales were sometimes, we wouldn't sell anything at all, versus maybe a hundred dollars a day," said Hoppe.

The building manager says this is the first time they've had this many vacancies since opening in 2003.

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