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Tough times in the retail woods 

Halifax has lost five long-serving businesses in the last six months.

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  If Halifax's business scene is like a forest, it's a joy to see new saplings take root (for example, here's a look at what a batch of newbies are up to on the waste-reduction front). And there's an existential ache when a towering old-growth tree falls. Sure, some death is useful to foster life in an ecosystem, but the last six months have been particularly hard on longstanding retailers. Losing the following five giants so quickly means that in less than a year, the city loses centuries of combined business experience.

Dean's Flowers
Closed August 2019
After 100 years in business, the Stanley Street florist had really made its name. Made it so well that two other flower shops were using the term "Dean's Flowers" in their Google advertising. "So, if someone Googles me or my business, they are hijacked away," wrote Dean's owner Holly Winchester in a Facebook post just before the shutdown. "The Google guy said that I should do the same thing, and use their names and business names in my search words. That is not even remotely something that I would do."


Smith's Bakery & Cafe
Closed August 2019
Started in 1932, the city's oldest independent bakery was a purveyor of all forms of classic deliciousness, from lemon squares to pizza. It closed when its Agricola Street lease ran out. As co-owner Dennis Evans told The Coast: "We can't stay here and we don't have the money to move."


Camera Repair Centre
Closed December 2019
For nearly 50 years, this Hunter Street shop was the go-to place when you had any sort of problem with a telephoto lens, shutter trigger, film uptake sprockets, digital sensor—you know, camera stuff! Like that thing on your phone that takes pictures, only totally different.


Newfoundland Store
Closing January 31, 2020
There has been a grocery store at the corner of Willow and Clifton Streets since 1917, and about half that time it's been the Newfoundland Store. But that era is over now.


Sievert's Tobacco
Closing soon
Last August Craig Sievert broke the news that he would be shutting down his family business, which has been selling cigars and cigarettes and various non-combustible goods on Barrington Street since 1906. Deep discounts to clear out the merchandise began in November, and are ongoing according to the Sievert's Facebook page. The final day looms like an axe.

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Vol 27, No 40
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