An east Winnipeg staple for parents will soon close its doors.
Mom’s and Children’s Paradise at 990 Nairn Ave. has decided to close up shop after 32 years in business. The store, which features second-hand items for children from clothing to toys to strollers, was originally located in Transcona before a 1998 move placed it in East Elmwood.
There was a second location in Westwood in the 1990s run by relatives of owner Linda Holbrook, but the store closed after those relatives opted to return home to the United Kingdom.
The market is playing a role in the closure of the original store, though, as Holbrook said long-time customers haven’t been in as often, while the current generation of parents are opting to purchase more goods online.
"Their needs change, so you don’t keep those same customers forever," she said. "Children grow up fast.
"There’s been that trend for a while where it’s been quite quiet and we’re not sure what to do. We’ve been contemplating retirement all this time. It’s a huge decision."
Holbrook hadn’t set a closing date as of press time, but all purchases will be final sale as of Feb. 1.
"Anybody we hear that are new customers in the store, you hear them out there and they say ‘This is the best store ever. This is going to be my new favourite store’, and then we feel really sad," she said, noting regular customers have been left disappointed by the news, and adding she is grateful for their business over the years.
The store was originally opened by Holbrook’s mother, Olive Kramble, after she was widowed. Kramble’s sister ran a similar store in Phoenix, Ariz., and she decided to transport the idea north.
Even at the age of 85, Kramble is still involved in the store, mending garments so that every item on the floor is ready to wear at the time of purchase.
One of the store’s major selling points was that it was easy to trade in merchandise if it was still in usable condition. Customers could either sell the items to the store for cash, or receive double the amount in store credit.
"It seemed to make sense to us. If you keep your things in relatively good condition, bring them back and then you trade them up on something else," she said. "Or if your children are all grown and you don’t need it, you could certainly take the cash."
Parents of dancers will be additionally affected by the closure, as the store carried body suits, tights and shoes.