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Yet Another Business Closes in Downtown Royal Oak

Ariana Gallery is shutting its doors at the end of December after 26 years in Royal Oak.

Ariana Gallery will close on Dec. 31. Credit: Judy Davids
Ariana Gallery will close on Dec. 31. Credit: Judy Davids
Ariana Gallery is the third the Main Street shop in one week to announce its plans to close for good.

Ariana Gallery, 119 S. Main St., plans to close its doors on Dec. 31. The other downtown shops closing are Cold Stone Creamery and Franklin Fine Wine.

"Proprietor Anne Kuffler opened her gallery in 1987, and has been in downtown Royal Oak almost every year since," said Royal Oak City Commissioner Peggy Goodwin in an email. "In addition to adding vibrancy, beauty and elegance to Main Street, she has also contributed countless volunteer hours to the cultural vibrancy of the community."

Kuffler says she can no longer afford to stay in Royal Oak where rent is on the rise.

"I am looking around," she said, exploring new opportunities.

A big sale begins on Monday at Ariana gallery. Everything in the store will be 20-50 percent off.
Sherry Lane December 07, 2013 at 11:51 AM
and again... the city is pricing all the older shops, that made this city... right OUT OF THE CITY.. GOOD JOB GUYS
Matt Turner December 07, 2013 at 11:52 AM
I may get flack for this but I wish that the city could attract some national chains to go in downtown besides American Apparel. How about a Banana Republic or a J Crew? I would much rather go a mile down the street to a store than to Somerset mall. I also wish we could attract more creative restaurant owners. I can't even count how many Thai, Lebanese, Pizza and Italian restaurants we have. Yet we have no French, German, Polish, tapas bars, jazz/blues clubs or southern cuisine downtown.
Northwood Mom December 07, 2013 at 12:44 PM
Stop ticketing people so aggressively. Maybe would attract more shoppers. Birmingham is offering 2 hours free parking. Or I can always park at Somerset .
Judy Davids (Editor) December 07, 2013 at 03:34 PM
Did you know the first two hours are always free before 5 p.m. in Royal Oak's parking structures?
Patience December 07, 2013 at 05:33 PM
Maybe all these shops are onto something? Maybe they sense a change for the worst is coming?
Laura December 07, 2013 at 06:28 PM
Maybe people should stop shopping online shopping and actually shopping and supporting local business this is just the tip of the Amazon iceberg. The more you support online shopping the more you will see cities Turing into Pontiac. It's sad because store owners have to pay tax, charge tax and support a city that everyone can enjoy walking around in but not everyone supports the locals the tsunami has started!!
CDE December 08, 2013 at 12:38 AM
Totally agree with you Matt, it would be great to have a few national retailers downtown...this is way too dire straits here though, Franklin Wine and Coldstone Creamery were just not good at what they were supposed to be good at. I am definitely disappointed by Ariana Gallery, but her reason makes sense given all the retail has shifted to Washington, Woodward, and the internet. These stores had fundamental problems, the internet did not put an ice cream store and a glorified party store out of business (nor an art gallery for that matter). Look at Birmingham, Old Woodward is basically nothing but restaurants/food except for a few spots --just like Main St in Royal Oak. On a lighter note, my household makes it a practice to buy at least once a month from a retail store downtown something(s) that is $50 or greater in value. By the way, hi Patience and I hope you had a nice weekend (it is the holiday season ya know).
Laura December 08, 2013 at 09:13 AM
CDF you have very valid points however The internet may not have directly put an Ice cream store out of business but indirectly it has. (even though every coldstone creamery I know has gone out of business) If people are sitting at home ordering online they are not out shopping, or eating at a restaurant or getting ice cream after they are done shopping. What needs to change is if the business owners have to pay tax then so should Amazon, Ebay and all online shopping. They are now trying to make the people pay the taxes they are lacking in getting from internet companies by making up new ways to tax the hard working citizens of the USA. Example they are trying to pass a mileage tax on the miles you drive on your car. Why? So we can shop tax free online. Business are investing hundreds and thousands of dollars to become a showroom for consumers to come and look at a product so they can then turn around and order from the internet. There is no way a small business can compete. I do however believe a national chain would make a difference in Royal Oak but its also a double edge sword with the other clothing stores. IN conclusion unless new regulations are put on the internet shopping sights the tsunami will continue.
CDE December 09, 2013 at 12:44 AM
Hi Judy Davids or anyone that can answer, do you have any update on Jolly Pumpkin coming to downtown Royal Oak? I have not seen anything since late 2012 and their craft beer is just incredible--hard to wait. Thanks. Sorry for digressing.
Laura Harrison December 09, 2013 at 01:28 AM
Local independent retailers in a downtown area find it harder and harder to cover the ever increasing overhead, especially the rents. Retails profit margins are no where near a food or bar business. Local building owners have tried for years to get mid-size businesses like a Banana Republic, etc. to rent space with no success. They don't like the paid parking structure of downtowns compared to malls or stand alone buildings with adjoining parking lot.
Sherry Lane December 09, 2013 at 09:02 AM
Never got the chance to go to Franklin.. we parked on night in their private lot.. memorial day We were giong to eat there but walked to the front of the building to check and see if there was on menu on the door.. some guy came out and chased us out of the parking lot.. said it was for customers.. we told him we were going to eat there, just checking for a menu.. he was very belligerent.. so we got in our car NEVER TO RETURN.. there was nobody in that restaurant.. think he would have liked the business... see ya ....
Judy Davids (Editor) December 09, 2013 at 01:35 PM
@CDE I am trying to get a status update on Jolly Pumpkin for you!
CDE December 09, 2013 at 09:27 PM
Thanks Judy.

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