This holiday shopping season could be the last for customers to patronize two longtime downtown staples.
Sugden Book Store and Turquoise Spirit, both located on Front Street in Marietta, are having inventory reduction sales in preparation for the current owners to either sell or close the businesses.
When current owner Angela Malone and her husband Keith bought Sugden Book Store in 2009, Angela said she hoped to breathe new life into the business, which has been a fixture for bibliophiles since 1928.
"We added more of the children's toy and gift section and we've remodeled the store," noted Angela.
With the store fully renovated, the Malones put it up for sale in July 2010, but did not have serious offers.
Now, the changing landscape of the world of literary retail has pressured them into exploring different options.
Sugden Book Store
Everything is 25 to 50 percent off as part of an inventory reduction sale.
Though the eventual intent is to close the business, no definitive date has been set.
Everything is 25 percent off as part of the store's "End of the Trail Sale."
The store's final day is Dec. 28, though it is possible that it will be reopened under new ownership.
"The book industry has changed tremendously because of the digital book industry," Angela Malone said.
The rising popularity of digital books, coupled with a crippled economy, has refocused the Malones' efforts of selling the 282 Front St. building, which they also own.
They also have not ruled out leasing the building to an interested party, said Angela.
"We don't have a buyer for the store," she said. "We are going a different direction, with the building."
Though they do not have a definitive date, the current plan is to sell off the store's inventory with the eventual intent of closing the business, said Malone.
In the meantime, customers can take advantage of discounts from 25 to 50 percent off throughout the store, she said.
Down the street, owners Barb and Doug Griener have been looking for a new owner for their business, Turquoise Spirit, since September.
"We're still planning on retiring," joked Barb.
The business' last day will be Dec. 28. Until that time, everything in the store is 25 percent off as part of the store's "End of the Trail Sale," she said.
However, it is still possible that Turquoise Spirit will reopen under new ownership, added Barb.
"We've been talking to two people. We are still in the talking stages, though," she said.
Though the Grieners were initially hoping to hammer out details earlier, so they could transfer ownership without closing, Barb said she would simply be happy to see the business continue to exist in the community.
The Grieners have owned the business for 16 years and have seen it draw patrons from halfway across the country. Some of those patrons will be what Barb misses the most, she said.
"I've been very blessed by all my customers. Some of them come in in tears," she said.
Though leaving the business will be bittersweet, Barb said she is excited to relax and spend more time with family.
"I guess this is part of a new trail we're taking," she said.