Arlington Heights Harris gift shop closing
After a 62-year run, the Arlington Heights business community soon will lose one of its most familiar names.
Harris Home Decor and More, which replaced the longtime family-owned pharmacy in 2010, is going out of business. The pharmacy was bought out by Mariano's Fresh Market.
"We really tried to carry on the name, but we just didn't get the support we needed from our community," owner Laura Harris said.
The store, located at 20 S. Dunton St., sells cards, candles, floral goods and other gifts. All items have been marked 60 percent off. Harris, who hopes to close as soon as possible, said she'll donate the remaining inventory.
She said her husband, Bill Harris, couldn't help but get emotional as they put out the going out of business sign. He thought back to 1950 when his own father hung a grand opening sign in the new Harris Pharmacy window.
Laura Harris said that she tried to keep the store going for the two older women she employs, but that it's been losing too much money.
Harris Home Decor and More is the latest downtown Arlington Heights business to close, following in the footsteps of Arlington Theaters, Works of Heart, the Pineapple Shop and other retailers.
"The people who live in this town really need to wake up because pretty soon we're going to see tumbleweeds around here," Harris said.
She'd like to see more marketing campaigns and other efforts aimed at promoting the village's downtown shopping district.
"Maybe it's not too late for other stores," she said.
John Melaniphy, the village's business and development coordinator, said it's unfortunate that so many businesses are struggling during the economic downturn. But he pointed to several new downtown retailers including Yogurtland, the Heights Dental Gallery and T-Mobile.
He also said Arlington Heights brings people to the area through its summer concerts, Taste of Arlington, Mane Event and other attractions. It advertises, maintains websites and keeps offices at village hall for Harper College's Small Business Development Center.
"The economy has been unprecedented in the duration and depth, and so many businesses are hurting, which is why we work diligently to promote the village and the downtown," he said.
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