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Hallmark store in Waynesboro Mall to close

November 28, 2003|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Waynesboro Mall shoppers who want "to send the very best" soon will have to go to the Waynesboro Heights Mall to do it.

Linda's Hallmark, a staple at Waynesboro Mall for the last 16 years, will close Dec. 27, said Linda Doll, store owner for the last 61/2 years.

She cites the sluggish economy the last 21/2 years as reason for her decision.

"I'm not getting any money out of the business," she said.

Starting today, all of the store's Hallmark merchandise goes on sale at half price, she said. Other merchandise will be reduced from 25 percent to 50 percent. The store's fixtures also are for sale.

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For shoppers of specialty items like Jelly Belly jelly bean-type candy, Linda's Hallmark is the only place they are sold in the Waynesboro area, she said.

The store at 642 E. Main St. also is a mecca for collectors of Yankee Candles, Boyds Bears and porcelain dolls, Precious Moments and other collectibles, she said.

Most of the store's six part-time employees have found other jobs, she said.

"It's sad. I thought I'd be here until retirement," Doll said.

"Waynesboro needs all the retail stores it can get. I'm not opposed to Wal-Mart coming in. There's nothing in Waynesboro to draw people in," she said.

"We'll miss it," said Ron and Rhoda Hanson of Waynesboro. They were taking advantage of the sale by buying a small Christmas tree, a ceramic Halloween pumpkin and a model toy.

The Hansons said they will still be able to buy Hallmark merchandise in the Waynesboro area because of the store in Wayne Heights Mall.

"I expect to pick up some of Linda's customers," said Dru Cairns, owner of Dru's Books 'n Things at 1515 E. Main St., in the Wayne Heights Mall.

"We will enjoy offering Linda's customers the same merchandise and quality service," she said.

That store opened in Wayne Heights about 20 years ago, she said. Cairns and her husband, Wally, bought it two years ago, she said.

In addition to being a full-line Gold Crown Hallmark store, Cairns also sells magazines, books and a variety of gifts and related merchandise.

Other Waynesboro stores which recently announced they were closing by the end of the year were Western Auto downtown and Bay Jewelers in the Wayne Heights Mall.

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