Saying they can’t make the business work, the owners of Mackenzies are closing the iconic downtown New Canaan shop this month, according to a sign posted on the door.
Owned since August 2018 by Heather Washington, the South Avenue mainstay is to close Jan. 28, she said in the sign.
“Due to the high rent prices, other operational cost increases and a decline in local shopping, we have been forced to close our doors,” the sign said. “Our operating expenses are too high and we can no longer continue financially. We are devastated by this and want to thank all of our loyal and dedicated customers for their patronage over the years.”
The iconic candy, party goods and specialty gift shop had been owned for the prior 13 years by Phyllis Weinstein and Jim Berry. They were owners-on-site, with their beloved golden retrievers, Tango and Tahoe.
Its closing comes at a time of change in prominent commercial spaces downtown, including the closing in December of Baskin Robbins on Main Street (another ice cream purveyor is expected to move in soon).
Known for decades as a newspaper, magazine, greeting cards and tobacco shop that also came to expand its range of sweets, Mackenzies in recent years had tried to focus more on party goods and specialty items. The wide sidewalk just outside its door is known to New Canaanites as the go-to place for Saxe Middle School students to thrown down their backpacks after walking down South Avenue to the business district, a local rite of passage.
Washington called for Mackenzies patrons to support the business as it winds down, saying many items would be half-price.
“Again, we want to thank all our wonderful customers for choosing to shop with us and wish you and your families all the best,” she said. “It has been a pleasure to serve you.”
Mike, your sense for the local color and traditions of New Canaan is greatly appreciated and invaluable. Thank you! Particularly for this gem, worthy of Thornton Wilder:
“The wide sidewalk just outside its door is known to New Canaanites as the go-to place for Saxe Middle School students to throw down their backpacks after walking down South Avenue to the business district, a local rite of passage.”
It’s sad indeed to see MacKenzie’s go.
taxes go up rents go up — I would buy birdseed and nuts local
my 25 lb bag of bird seed use to be $50.00 and 5 lb bag of nuts $8.99
in the last 2 yr the birdseed went to $63.00 and the nuts went to $12.99
Why I don’t know is it higher rent ??? — I now buy the birdseed for $43.00
and the nuts for$8.16 @ chewy.com — the Town may be empty
someday with just banks left