Kiddietown, the decades-old youngsters’s clothes retailer, is closing for good

When Shashini Jayaratne came upon she was pregnant along with her first baby 4 years in the past, Kiddietown was the primary retailer she browsed for child stuff.

“Automotive seats, strollers, you title it. It was the store,” Jayaratne stated.

“It is a private attachment, and I am so unhappy to listen to they’re closing.”

Early subsequent yr, after greater than 70 years in enterprise, the longtime Ottawa youngsters’s clothes and furnishings retailer will shut for good — partly due to the challenges attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Returning buyer Shashini Jayaratne was amongst those that walked the aisle of the shop on Friday. (Jean Delisle/Radio-Canada)

Jayaratne stated the shop has been round since he was born – and he’s figuring issues out.

Goldie Abramson and her brother Hyam Hyams opened Kiddietown’s authentic Ottawa location on Rideau Avenue in 1945.

Over the following seven many years, Kiddietown grew to 6 areas, in accordance with its web site. In the present day, its final remaining location in East Ottawa is owned and operated by Hyams’ daughters, Rhea Hymes-Hochstadter and Barbara Levinson.

They introduced final week that the shop would shut its doorways for good in February 2022, when their lease expires.

tears, hugs, shock

Hymes-Hochstadter stated prospects are taking the information onerous.

“Some individuals are crying, some individuals are calling, some individuals are hugging me, some individuals are shocked,” she stated. “I’ve people who find themselves on fourth era dressing.”

Levinson stated she grew up working within the enterprise.

“Ever since I used to be eight years previous,” she stated. “Do not report this to baby labor!”

Rhea Hymes-Hochstadter, present co-owner of KiddieTown and one of many two daughters of co-founder Hymes, carries this picture of the unique retailer on Rideau Avenue in her pockets. (Cow Queneville/CBC)

Levinson stated her father instructed his daughters that in the event that they wished one thing, they need to work for it.

“That is what we did, whether or not it was answering the cellphone, taking money, marking issues up. So [closing is] It is unhappy, however I am able to retire.”

Rhea Hymes-Hochstadter, proper, and her sister Barbara Levinson personal and function Kiddietown at the moment. Right here, pose with a photograph of them as youngsters modeling the shop’s garments. (Cow Queneville/CBC)

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a more difficult enterprise setting, particularly relating to retaining staff, he stated.

The sisters had already closed their slim downtown Financial institution Avenue location as a result of it was troublesome to socially distance there and “there was no downtown,” Levinson stated.

It has additionally been troublesome to get a number of the stock, he stated.

Hymes-Hochstadter stated that Excessive Hymes, seen right here in newspaper clippings saved by the household, taught him the worth of his earnings from an early age. (Jean Delisle/Radio-Canada)

However Levinson stated the time is correct to wrap up this chapter in his household’s historical past.

“I believe we have achieved quite a bit,” she stated. “It is working its course for us and that is good. It is all good.”

Ottawa Morning5:42Ottawa youngsters’s retailer Kiddietown is closing after 76 years

It opened on the finish of World Battle II. After which trip the Child Growth. However after greater than seven many years in enterprise, the household that began the shop is closing it.

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