A school-supply store open in Tacoma since 1985 will close at the end of the month.
School Daze, a family owned business, will shut its doors at 3630 Cedar St. on Jan. 31, co-owner Jerry England said. School Daze in Olympia, in Capital Village, will stay open. Online sales will continue as well.
“The economy just killed us,” England said this morning. “We’ve tried to weather it, but we’re soaking more of our money into it and it’s not working.”
England owns the store with his wife, Wendy, whose parents started it in 1979. They focus on being a teacher-oriented store, with material designed for classrooms and to supplement standard curriculum. Beyond teachers, customers have included parents and people who work at preschools, day cares and churches.
England said sales have been falling for some time, and that last year was their worst year for back-to-school season.
In a recent survey, teachers said they spent an average of $356 of their own money on classroom and instructional supplies in the 2009-2010 school year, compared to $552 in 2005-2006. The retail market study by the National School Supply and Equipment Association shows teachers expect that number to keep falling.
England is the only employee at the Tacoma store, while the store in Olympia still has a handful of people.
“We still want to get back into the area again. We’re reorganizing,” he said. “We have one store. I’ll get another job.
“I’m optimistic. I think this is a good thing, though it doesn’t look like it now,” he said. “We’re just trying to ride out this economy.”