Family-owned businesses can sometimes show more personal care than large franchise retailers. Some take extra pride in ownership because their name is up front. In today's economy, though, the special touches are not always enough to keep them afloat. Some long-time local businesses in Prince George's are going under as chain stores expand and Internet business takes off.
Friends Larry Paulson and Cheryl Hoffman who co-own A Tangled Skein yarn store in Hyattsville announced they're closing with a liquidation sale date set for Jan. 10.
They saw their store as a chance to try to form a community around the act of making something by hand. Customers were welcome to sit in the store with their fresh skeins of yarn and stitch a few rows while chatting with staff.
But Paulson noted competition from the expansion in the region of large chain craft stores, such as Michaels, Jo Ann Fabrics and Hobby Lobby—and that the Internet has become a player in yarn sales.
Fleisher's Jewelers closed down in Chillum last year after 63-years of being run by two generations of Fleisher family members. Its last owner, Fred Fleisher, had been in the shop since he was 3-weeks-old. He poured everything he owned into the store to keep it from failing, he said. But the rise of the Internet and big box retail offerred stiff competition.
"The Internet and Wal-Mart have destroyed local jewelers," Fleischer said.
In the face of competition from big businesses and the Internet, what is the fate of family and locally-owned stores in Prince George's County? Share your strategies for helping mom-and-pop operations stay afloat in the comments below.
Michael Theis contributed to this article.