This 70-Year-Old Retailer Is Going Out of Business and Closing All Locations
IT WAS A GO-TO SPOT FOR MANY—ESPECIALLY THOSE WITH A CREATIVE SIDE.
Saying goodbye to any business can be upsetting, but when it's those that have been around for decades, it's that much more disheartening. These stores made it through economic downturns, recessions, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Both large and small chains considered themselves fortunate to survive quarantine and stay-at-home orders, but even with the pandemic seemingly slowing down, retailers are not without their struggles. Now, one retailer will see its final day after over 70 years. Read on to find out which chain is going out of business and closing all locations.
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Stores are often forced to close—regardless of whether they're part of a big or small chain.
Nationwide retailers are closing stores left and right, including Walgreens and Bed Bath & Beyond, which confirmed that 150 "lower-producing" stores are on the chopping block. In a more extreme case, Olympia Sports announced it was going out of business and closing all of its stores before the end of the year. But smaller chains face hardships too, impacting their localized customer base.
In September, a Wisconsin-based party supply chain, 50-50 Factory Outlet, confirmed it's going out of business and closing all four locations. Owner Scott Lystrup cited the persistent challenges from the pandemic, as well as the price of goods and inflation as the reasons they closed up shop. Despite being a community staple for 40 years, decreased demand also played a part in the decision.
While party supplies are essential to any festive get-together, the latest round of closures will affect those with a specific hobby or career.
A beloved art supply store is shutting its doors.
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Asel Art Supply, a beloved Texas-based chain, announced that it will be closing all locations in an Oct. 21 Facebook post.
"We have some news," the announcement reads. "After 71 years in Texas, all Asel Art Supply locations will be closing by Dec. 31, 2022." The post also outlined a 40 percent off sale for all merchandise, encouraging customers to "please stop by to say goodbye" and "take advantage" of savings.
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Both brick-and-mortar stores and the online store will be closed.
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Currently, Asel Art Supply, Inc. operates six Texas stores in Richardson, Arlington, Fort Worth, Lubbock, and San Antonio, where two stores are located on Main Street and Callaghan Road, respectively. The art supply store also ships online orders, but in response to a comment on the Facebook post, the retailer confirmed that the online shop would be shut down by the end of the year as well.
To put things lightly, Asel Art Supply was a cherished staple for shoppers, founded by brothers Kenny and Herb Asel in 1951. On Facebook, the post announcing the closure has garnered nearly 400 reactions, 174 comments, and 517 shares. Shoppers voiced how upset they were to hear of the closing, with one commenter calling Asel "an incredible resource" and another stating that the chain was "a wonderful supporter of the art community." Many added that they've been loyal customers for years, and the stores have been a "go-to" spot for artists and teachers alike.
"This is so sad," a user wrote in response to the closure post on Instagram. "I have shopped with Asel for 30 years…a real loss for artists as there will be a huge hole left. In many areas, like Lubbock in west Texas, and the DFW metroplex, it is the only place a pro artist can go…"
One location already closed last month.
This isn't the first closure for Asel: It shuttered its Dallas location on Sept. 20, 2022, Glasstire, an online art magazine, reported—mere weeks after being dubbed the "Best Arts and Crafts Store" by D Magazine. According to the Dallas Observer, owners closed the Asel Art Supply in Dallas—which was the chain's oldest location—after receiving an offer to buy the building in which the store was located.
"We've had offers for years and said no to many of them," Susan Smolenski, president of Asel Art Supply Inc., told the outlet in September. "This one was bigger than any one we've ever had before."
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A clear reason for the closures hasn't been provided, but there is speculation.
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Asel Art Supply didn't provide a reason for why it's now going out of business, but Glasstire pointed to the general shift to purchasing supplies online. In addition, the outlet and a Facebook user cited the introduction of Jerry's Artarama, a discount art supply store, in Texas.
"Jerry's Artarama opened in the past several months," the Facebook user wrote in response to a comment asking why Asel was closing for good. "Probably one of the causes of Asel's demise. I only went [to Jerry's Artarama] once shortly after opening. I still love Asel."
Best Life reached out to Asel Art Supply regarding the closures, but has yet to hear back.