Two retail stores closing on The Sunshine Mile

2014-07-08T00:00:00Z 2014-07-08T09:27:42Z Two retail stores closing on The Sunshine MileBy Angela Pittenger Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Store closing signs hang above the doors of two business along The Sunshine Mile, a shopping corridor on Broadway between Country Club Road and Campbell Avenue.

Casa Colonial, 2026 E. Broadway, will close by the end of July if inventory lasts that long, said Omar Merheb, the store’s owner.

The store, which specializes in Mexican and Peruvian furniture, has been open for about 15 years. And until 2008, things went well.

“After 2008, everything went down,” Merheb said. “Consumers had less spendable income, and the higher-end retailers just started to go down.”

Since Merheb’s lease is up and construction will eventually begin on widening Broadway, he felt it was time to move on.

“On one hand, I’m gonna miss the majority of my customers,” he said.

“On the other hand, when something doesn’t work, you go and find something that does and you find a way to make the best out of a bad situation. And things aren’t always gonna go your way, but there’s always another thing on the horizon.”

Casa Colonial’s inventory is all marked down by 60 percent, and will remain that way until the store closes.

“I have to be out by the end of July,” Merheb said. “But furniture is going pretty quickly, so it might not last until the end of July.”

Unsold inventory will be sold to a wholesale supplier.

La Buhardilla, 2360 E. Broadway, which sells custom-made wrought iron, home accents and accessories from Mexico, will close within a year, said Jose Aguirre, the store manager. Aguirre’s brother, who lives in Mexico, owns the store and the duo makes much of the merchandise themselves.

When La Buhardilla first opened in 1986, there were only a few stores that offered the same type of products, and business was good.

But like many other small businesses, sales revenue declined when the recession hit. And it doesn’t appear to be picking up anytime soon, Aguirre said.

Aguirre’s health was also a deciding factor in closing the business.

“I don’t get any younger, and I don’t get any healthier,” he said. “Having surgery slowed me down, so you start thinking, ‘We might have to change plans.’”

La Buhardilla has all its inventory discounted at 40 percent off.

It will remain open until it sells most of the merchandise.

What doesn’t sell will either be donated or sold to wholesalers.

“It is sad, because it’s always fun to be able to make people happy and hearing them say, ‘Oh, I needed this,’” Aguirre said. “It gives you satisfaction when you can help people.”

Contact reporter Angela Pittenger at apitteng@azstarnet.com or 573-4137. Follow her on Twitter @CentsibleMama or on Facebook at facebook.com/centsiblemama

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