Where have all the shops gone…




You know that sad 1960s folk song, “Where Have all the Flowers Gone”? That’s how I feel about the closing of so many retail stores. However, when I looked up the meaning of the lyrics, the site suggested: “that even though the flowers have died, new ones will eventually grow in their place“. So should we be encouraged that even though we are losing some of our favourite shops,  new ones will crop up in their place?  Or is this wishful thinking?

The conversation of “retail” always comes up when I get together with friends over coffee or lunch. I’m a former retailer, and retailing holds a special spot in my heart. I know I often initiate these conversations, but as we lose more and more boutiques, my friends are also distressed by our new reality…where to shop?

Retail is a tricky business. There are so many things that can go wrong…did I buy right, is the inventory available at the right time, the right price, is the weather cooperating, is the economy stable… And now, I think one of the biggest problems is, will people shop in-store instead of buying online???


Driving around the city, I see “For Lease” signs everywhere. Local retailers once occupied these empty spaces, and sadly they’ve been forced to close their doors. Covid was deadly for retail, and even now, escalating shipping costs and supply shortages have cut deeper into already slim profit margins. With higher interest rates, the cost of borrowing and carrying inventory are other nightmares for retailers. In addition, travel and hotel costs are rising, making it expensive for retailers to seek new merchandise.



I know I’ve droned on endlessly on this forum about my love of retailing and how important it is to support small (and even large) local businesses if we want to experience the joy of shopping. Retailers cringe when they overhear a customer saying, “Oh, I bought this when I was on vacation”. Consumers don’t mean to be insensitive in their comments, but buying locally makes an enormous difference to shopkeepers…I wish they were more aware…   I, too, always shop while on holiday; however, I don’t buy anything I can find at home.





I often said, “If everyone who walked into my store spent a couple of dollars, I would have been wildly successful”! I’m not suggesting you buy something you don’t need or won’t use, but be mindful about supporting your favourite store…it may not always be there. Once it’s gone, it’s too late…


I’m taking a mini vacation next week…a walk on the beach will be heavenly after a long winter. There will be no blog post next week, so I wish you a Happy Easter and hope the Easter Bunny brings you all the best chocolate!

xox Judy❤️

6 thoughts on “Where have all the shops gone…”

  1. What a nightmare Covid has caused around the world, touching every person, in every area of our lives.
    Personally, I do not like shopping online, for multiple reasons. However, there are some products that I can’t buy in Edmonton anymore, so have no choice. And unfortunately, these things mostly come from the US. I think it will be a long time before retail returns to anything similar to what we had pre-Covid, particularly with the ominous sign that stores continue to close. Sorry to be a downer, and I hope I am wrong.
    Hopefully small boutiques shopping will make a comeback in Edmonton. My favs continue to be Replenish, Swish, Plum, and Tattered Rose.
    Happy Easter Judy, and enjoy the Beach!

    1. Hi Karen, you are a professional shopper! And a true supporter of local business. Your fav’s are mine too…I would add Artworks, and Alligator Pie to my list. Happy Easter to you too! xox Judy

  2. I have recently purchased a good bunch of clothing from “Who Care”. They are local folks who own this outlet. My clothing is for the River Boat Cruise out of Portugal. I still must look again at my own clothing then I will know if I have appropriate things for dinner on a river boat.

  3. I hear you Judy! Even before Covid there were so many lovely boutiques closing and I swear most of them were being replaced by vape/cannabis stores etc…😡. I’ve never been a “mall” shopper and have always chosen to support small independent retailers whenever I can. I always remember how I felt before I even entered your store …just seeing the items you had so thoughtfully and beautifully arranged if front of the store to greet us. I love all the boutiques that the other ladies have listed here and I also like Home & Cottages (a mother/daughter collaboration) which has just recently teamed up with Uniquities (a mother/husband/son collab). Uniquities is actually located in Calgary but they constantly bring up new items from their Calgary shop. Judy, you’d love the antique home and garden items that “Uniquities” source (or should I say scavenge😂!) over in the UK and the continent. Let’s hope that we don’t lose any more of these lovely boutiques. I still haven’t recovered from losing you and CC on Whyte😢. Have a Happy Easter and enjoy your walk on the beach! Hugs, Karen xo❤️

  4. Hi Karen, I know you have ALWAYS been so supportive of local business and I’m sure you are a treasure wherever you go to shop! I have found Home & Cottages too, and have already made a dent in the Visa! Both the mother and daughter are lovely and seeing the antiques that Uniquities has sourced out are fabulous. xox Judy❤️

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