Roughly 16 months after making a major move from north Columbus to the city's downtown, the Kiddie Shoppe, a decades-old retailer catering to clothing and accessories for youngsters and babies, is closing its doors.
The store, owned by Tiffany Yarbrough, posted a message Monday on its Facebook and Instagram pages to let followers know that the end is near for the business at 15 West 11th St., just off Broadway.
"Our family has been incredibly fortunate to have been part of an amazing legacy here in Columbus," Yarbrough said in the note. "Thank you all for your patronage, love & support. Please stop by the Kiddie Shoppe ... this week so we can thank you personally."
The Kiddie Shoppe's final day is Saturday, with a liquidation sale now under way.
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Reaction from customers leaving their own Facebook messages ranged from sadness to reminiscing about how they had relied on the business through the years to clothe their children.
"Sad, sad, sad!! We will so miss The Kiddie Shoppe!! Thank you so much! Every blessing for your family's next chapter," posted Rosemary Powell Baker.
"I'm definitely going to miss y'all," said Traci Ogletree Mann. "My mother shopped at Kiddie Shoppe for over 50 years and I have for my kids and my grand baby."
Said Vikki Voorhees-Condrey: "A lot of my clothes came from there when I was a child in the 60s and 70s! I purchase some clothes there in the 80s and early 90's but mostly at Warren's for my kids! Sorry to see you (go) ... but everything must come to an end at some point! Thanks for providing a place for parents to get quality clothes for their kids!"
Perhaps Nita Warr put it most simply and aptly: "Another tradition gone."
It was in January 2014 that Kiddie Shoppe owner Rick McKnight sold the business he had owned since 1991 to Yarbrough. The location at that time was on Rollins Way in the Bradley Park shopping and dining area of Columbus.
"I do have to balance being a mom and being a store owner," the wife and mother of two said in a Job Spotlight interview just months into her ownerships of the business. "That's probably the toughest part of this, is figuring out what to give 100 percent and when, because your kids need you, and that's obviously more important than this. But this business is like another baby. You have to give it time and nurture it."
Kiddie Shoppe dates to its 1936 founding by a local couple named Philip and Ada Pomerance. It has had homes throughout the city over the last eight decades, including Cross Country Plaza, Columbus Square Mall, Peachtree Mall, Main Street Village and a previous stint downtown.
"I would say there's definitely pressure," Yarbrough said in the spotlight interview. "People want to see the Kiddie Shoppe around and I think people want to see it succeed."
Relocation of Kiddie Shoppe from the city's north side to a resurgent downtown was aimed and saving money on rent, while she could also be closer to her family's home in the Midtown area of Columbus.
"I feel like I have a lot of customers who are working moms — and dads, for that matter — who are at Synovus, TSYS and some of the other downtown businesses," she told the Ledger-Enquirer last year while preparing for the move to downtown. "Hopefully, it will make it a little more convenient for them."