Christmas by the Sea sails away

The Hollis Street shop is closing after 27 years in downtown Halifax

Lynne and Michael Pierce have spent 27 years helping shoppers count down the days until Christmas at their shop Christmas by the Sea (1880 Hollis Street), which made its beginnings in Saint John in the mid-’80s.

“It was a perfect storm,” says Michael Pierce, who says a rough couple of years in combination with a rent increase have forced the store to close. “A lot of things have happened. There’s a lot a construction and destruction, lane closures, buildings half torn down and foot traffic is deteriorating.”

After over half a century in downtown Halifax, Christmas by the Sea will officially say goodbye to shoppers on March 31, but until then much of the store is discounted from 30 to 50 percent off. Pierce says while he isn't ruling out re-opening in another location, searching for one isn't a top priority right now. But he and Lynne will continue to run their small shop at the cruise ship pavilion, The Maple Tree Clothing and Gifts.

“It’s unfortunate, and I don’t know what the answer is,” says Pierce. “It takes a long time to build up what we have. We’ve spent half our lives here....We’ve had some good years here, but when I look back over the 27 years, and the people who’ve come and gone, it was always beyond their control.”

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