To the dismay of grandparents, parents and children in the neighborhood, Heights Kids, located on Pineapple Walk, will sell its last toys and shut its doors by the end of July. Owner Darek Cegielski spoke about the situation today.
Q. Why are you closing the business?
A. Well, a number of factors. It’s very tough to have a small retail business these days. Competing with internet sales is impossible. Also, for the last year, I’ve been trying to negotiate a rent that the business could sustain, but I couldn’t make a deal.
Q. How long has Heights Kids been in business and why did you decide to open a toy store?
A. It opened 20 years ago. I was in the toy store business before that. I’ve lived on Poplar St. for 25 years, and I looked around and there was no store in the neighborhood at the time that was selling toys and baby goods.
Q. How do you feel about closing the shop after so many years?
A. I will miss it. The clientele has been great. I’ve watched so many neighborhood kids grow up. I’ve seen customers, who came to the store as kids, grow up and bring their own kids here. But I’ve always believed that life is writing the story for you. Everything has to come to an end so new things can begin.
Q. What are your plans after the business closes?
A. To be honest, I don’t know. I’m going to take at least a month off and figure it out.
Q. If there’s one thing you could say to all of your customers, what would it be?
A. Thank you for all the support for the last 20 years. You’ve all been so great.
This writer is not as zen about this situation as Darek and still trying to process this devastating news. In the meantime, everything in the store is now 20% off. Let’s go and help Darek clear the inventory and get some great toys for your kids and their friends!