Despite what you might see in the movies, not all toy stories have happy endings.
The Linden Toy Factory will close its doors in the coming weeks after six years of bringing smiles to children’s faces in downtown Linden.
Owner Chris Matthews said declining sales the last few years were behind the decision to close up the shop.
“It just didn’t make sense anymore,” he said. “We can’t just nest egg around the few weeks of Christmas.”
Matthews said declining sales might have been a combination of a lack of foot traffic, declining birth rates, competition from big box stores and other factors.
“It’s been a unique situation in that we get to grow up with a lot of people’s kids,” Matthews said. “We’ve been part of people’s families for a long time. We’ve had longtime customers come in and shed a tear with us. That’s been difficult.”
Tori Ritter posted “What?! I cannot believe they are closing. How sad. :(.”
Felicia Ericksen said, “So sad. Such a great place to find quality toys.”
Malinda Smith “My favorite toy store--we will miss it.”
The store will lock its doors for the last time on March 24. Matthews said merchandise has been moving well with recent sales, but there are still quite a stock of toys.
While the toys will have to find a new home, Matthews isn’t packing up and leaving town, instead the adjacent Linden Sweet Shoppe, 109 South Bridge Street, which he also owns, will expand into the Linden Toy Factory’s location. The shop will have a small selection of toys. Matthews will also keep open Linden Toy Factory’s sister store, Razzmatazz Toys, located at 109 W. Grand River in Howell.
“We had a really good summer last year,” Matthews said of the Linden Sweet Shoppe. “Hopefully it will be something Linden buys into on a more year-round basis. Hopefully it will be good for us and good for the community.”