Rich People Having Trouble Shopping


La Jolla has long had a reputation as the place to go for high-end goods and the finest life has to offer.  But as people deal with shrinking budgets and an uncertain economic future, La Jolla is looking a lot different these days.  "For lease" signs are popping up all over La Jolla.

Izzy Tihanyi co-owns the Surf Diva Boutique and surf school with her sister.  She says to get this retail space they had to have a bidding war.

"Things were booming," Tihanyi said.  That was in 1996.  "Now, the clients do come down and support La Jolla Shores, but for the most part, everyone's looking for a discount."

Foot traffic has slowed, people are reluctant to make purchases and when they do -- bargain basement prices are the biggest motivator, and it's not just in La Jolla Shores.

"We left in September and arrived back just last week, that it's shocking how many small businesses have gone," Valmere Knapp said.

Knapp and her husband split time between California and Colorado.  She says in four months -- La Jolla has been transformed.

"They were all the small businesses that were unique, not chains basically," Knapp said.

"I think that a lot of people who can afford to shop down here are pulling, just sort of saving a little bit," La Jolla resident Rob Felix said.

That's likely part of the problem for an area where the economy has historically focused on the finer things in life.  Still, Tihanyi asks La Jollans not to run down to the mall, for things you could buy down the street.

"Think about your choices and where you're spending your money," she said.

Correction: In earlier postings of this story, we had video that included the Everett-Stunz store on Girard. That store is not closing or going out-of business. We regret the error.


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