SAINT JOHN – A store in Market Square that’s been in business for over 26 years will be closing its doors.
Cathy Hutchinson, the owner of Manchester Shoe Salon, says she is closing up the store to enjoy more time with her family.
“My lease here at Market Square is expiring in February and I just evaluated where I’m at in my life right now,’ she says. “I love my business. I’ve had wonderful customers, but I just need some ‘me time’ now and I’ve got two little granddaughters that I want to be able to spend some more time with. The timing was just right.”
Manchester Shoes first opened in 1994 in Brunswick Square. Ten years ago, the store moved to nearby Market Square.
“I have loved every minute of being down here at Market Square,” says Hutchinson. “They call it the ‘Festival Place’ and yes, that’s true. There are activities all the time going on down here. Multicultural events, food eating contests, stuff like that. I have loved it down here. It’s been really wonderful.”
The store closing will be a vacant space in a high-traffic part of the mall. Hutchinson hopes another local business will soon step up and take the space.
“I hope there are some young entrepreneurs out there who are willing to take the leap. If they have an idea of something that they’re passionate about and they’re willing to put in the time,” she says. “That’s one thing when you enter into a small business, I’ll tell you, it’s a lifetime commitment. It’s your baby. You got to nurture it. You got to spend time with it and it’s a bit of responsibility.”
The store will close once the rest of the inventory is sold, customers will be updated every couple days via the company’s Facebook page as to when that is.
“Everything is out that we have. The selection is still really really good. We’ve got some winter boots and lots of shoes and booties. When everything is gone the door will close.”
After 26 successful years in business in uptown Saint John, Hutchinson hopes residents will continue to support local shops like hers.
“Most of us who are in business here in the uptown area are independents and we’re offering something that the national chain stores or the box stores don’t offer,” she says. “I think people should think about supporting the uptown. It’s a different shopping experience.”