Sinclair’s gift store closes down
Another St George’s retailer is calling it quits, citing the economic downturn and yet another year without a cruise ship in port for the summer.
Sinclair’s gift store on Water Street, opposite the old Carriage House, shut its doors as 2012 drew to a close.
The store, known for having one of the largest collection of tea towels in the western world — more than 150 at one time — had been in business in the Old Town for 25 years.
Owner Robert Sinclair said he could not keep investing his savings into the business to keep it afloat, having already injected tens of thousands of his own dollars.
“One reason for closing is the downturn, and the other part of it we still don’t get any cruise ships in St George’s — and that has not been a good thing for me, or the town,” Mr Sinclair said, adding he used to do a booming business from cruise visitors, as well as the ships’ crews.
Mr Sinclair leased and then renovated the store in 1986 just prior to opening.
It was a bike repair shop, and the premises is owned by HAE Smith.
Mr Sinclair and his wife worked there up until deciding to close.
“Our best years were from 1997 to 2007, from there it went downhill,” he said. Mr Sinclair said he felt Government officials could have done more to secure a smaller liner capable of coming into St George’s Harbour.
“There are lots of small ships that could have come in,” he said.
Sinclair’s follows other landmark retailers closing down in 2012 in St George’s, including Crisson’s, AS Cooper’s and the Cracker Box.
All blamed the tough economy — and the lack of a cruise ship.