FREDERICTON– A head shop that’s been in business for over 26 years in downtown Fredericton announced that it would be closing this month.
Things: The Hippie Boutique announced the closure on its Facebook page on Thursday.
“It’s been a pleasure serving everybody for the past 26 going on 27 years,” read the post.
“This was not an easy decision to make but changes in the retail environment have not been great for us…so with heavy hearts we say goodbye….”
Owner Jackie Veinott told Huddle the mass commercialization of cannabis paraphernalia following legalization was the main cause for the store’s closure.
“What’s happened is there are chain stores open and selling it now. So when Things opened its doors in December 1992, there was nobody selling this but us,” says Veinott. “For 26 years we broke the law. We really broke the law. It was technically illegal to sell all of this stuff. We were the second longest-running head shop in Canada.”
Veinott says online marketplaces and bigger chains have made it difficult for small “mom and pop” head shops to stay in business.
I was in the Irving Circle K the other day, pipes that I sell for $25, they’re selling for $10,” she says. “That doesn’t mean they’re the same quality, but most people don’t care. I can’t compete with them.”
She also says the current climate in Fredericton’s downtown hasn’t helped.
“With the constructions we had last year, I lost $20,000 worth of sales,” says Veinott. “The city was like, ‘well, it’s the cost of doing business.’ It’s not the cost of doing business.”
Veinott says the store has lost so much money in the last two years, she personally needs to claim bankruptcy since the shop was under a sole proprietorship, not incorporated.
After the store closes its doors on Jan. 13, she’s not sure what her next move will be.
“I have no idea,” she says. “Get this over and done with and hopefully, someone will be kind enough to hire me.”
Things is the third business in the city’s downtown that announced its closing in the past few weeks. The King Street Ale House also announced its closure on Thursday. McGinnis Landing announced its closure last week.