Holiday sales not enough to keep Kate's

BUSINESS IN BRIEF

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Kate's Garden, the gift shop at 730 Lake St., has announced it is going out of business and will close its doors within the next few weeks.

"It was a very difficult decision that involved many glasses of wine and an equal amount of ice cream," owners Maribeth Shor and Lisa Stern write in a letter sent to customers.

Shor blamed the economy, which has not been kind to retailers in recent years, for the store's closure.

"This is as tough as it's been," Shor said, in the three decades she's been in retail, adding that the store was able to assemble a "tremendous base of customers" in its 6-year run.

"They've been really incredible," she said.

Shor said Kate's Garden would close its doors for good sometime near the end of the month or in early February.

The owners knew for weeks that holiday sales would determine the store's fate. Stern wrote a letter to WEDNESDAY JOURNAL urging readers to support local retailers when making holiday purchases. She later told the JOURNAL that the season's sales were poor.

Shor said she plans to help her husband with his business, Molly Maid of Oak Park, but wants to get out of retailing and into senior advocacy. Stern said she, too, will help her husband with his business, Lucille's Tavern and Tapas in Lincoln Park. They hope to open another restaurant nearer to their Oak Park home.

Everything in Kate's Garden has been marked down 30 percent, with Christmas items half-off. Discounts will rise as the end of the month approaches.
?#34;Drew Carter

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