There will be no fairytale ending for Tall Tales Books.
Despite a valiant effort by owners, the childrens’ book store closed up shop permanently on Jan. 4.
Tall Tales opened in downtown Victoria in August of 2009 and, facing financial troubles, launched a customer subscription program in the summer of 2011. Nearly 300 customers registered to make automatic monthly payments of $10 that could be used month-to-month or held indefinitely to make larger purchases at the time. The service, to which many customers continued to subscribe until last week, saved the business at the time, but wasn’t enough to pull the bookstore through a slow fall and Christmas season.
Co-owner Drew Lormier believed sales were down partly because of their new location on Cadboro Bay Road, where they had been situated alongside the Story Studio since September in an effort to save on costs.
“You put on a brave face a lot of the time,” said Lormier. “It’s always been a struggle. For the most part we were trying to put in our own resources, but unfortunately, when we moved, people didn’t know where we were. It was a rough fall.”
Customers who subscribed to the monthly payment program were notified of the closure early in the new year and had an opportunity to use their credits, Lormier said. By Friday morning about 20 books remained on the shelves. Those with unused credit will not be issued refunds.
“It’s a hard thing,” he said. “There’s not much we can do once we’re out of business. … We appreciated everything and our family did what we could.”
The Story Studio Writing Society, a non-profit dedicated to coaching youth through the writing process, continues to operate from the location, 2280 Cadboro Bay Rd.