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No More Fun and Games at ThinkTOYS

ThinkTOYS is closing Tuesday. In the meantime, everything in the store is 25 percent off.

The popular ThinkTOYS toy store on Silver Spring Drive is closing its doors after just over a year in business.

After opening its first location at Mayfair Mall, ThinkTOYS opened its Whitefish Bay location at 308 E. Silver Spring Dr. in July 2011. The store quickly became an after-school favorite for younger kids in Whitefish Bay, offering Legos, puzzles, board games, educational toys and other unique toy varieties.

The Mayfair store closed several months ago. ThinkTOYS owner Michael Morelli said the store's sales were not the reason behind his decision to close the Whitefish Bay store.

"It doesn't make sense for us at least to pay huge rents when you can take advantage of the web," he said in an email. "Far less work, less overhead, employee costs, etc."

Morelli also owns Television Frenzies, a store that sells products normally seen on home shopping network television programs.

ThinkTOYS District Manager Jean Gama said the store's last day will be Tuesday, but in the meantime, everything in the sale is marked down 25 percent.

Gama, the face behind the Whitefish Bay store, said the Whitefish Bay community and other businesses have been very neighborly, and she personally hopes to find another job in the area.

No other businesses have applied for a conditional use permit to occupy the 1,400-square foot space.

Bob McBride October 21, 2012 at 02:36 PM
I think we just have to accept that Silver Spring is going to continue to have certain locations where some stores can only make it for about a year or so (depending on whether or not they're actually someone's livelihood or, as in the case of Milwaukee's Finest Guitars, more of a hobby). Maybe that's not a bad thing - as long as we can continue to find folks willing to gamble, against tough odds, that their business is going to make it for the long term, regardless of what logic might dictate. Maybe the variety that is a by-product of having a rotating segment of store fronts makes up for the duplication that seems to be the other trend in the area. It's pretty obvious that there's no real game-plan for the area. This is the best we can hope for, apparently - specialty businesses, run by folks without a lot of experience in the field, drawing minimal amounts of traffic to the area, who either see the light in about a year or run out of resources to stay in business.. Which makes complaints about parking losses resulting from developments in back of the FoxBay building and east of there harder to justify.
Bob McBride October 21, 2012 at 02:37 PM
I think we just have to accept that Silver Spring is going to continue to have certain locations where some stores can only make it for about a year or so (depending on whether or not they're actually someone's livelihood or, as in the case of Milwaukee's Finest Guitars, more of a hobby). Maybe that's not a bad thing - as long as we can continue to find folks willing to gamble, against tough odds, that their business is going to make it for the long term, regardless of what logic might dictate. Maybe the variety that is a by-product of having a rotating segment of store fronts makes up for the duplication that seems to be the other trend in the area. It's pretty obvious that there's no real game-plan for the area. This is the best we can hope for, apparently - specialty businesses, run by folks without a lot of experience in the field, drawing minimal amounts of traffic to the area, who either see the light in about a year or run out of resources to stay in business.. Which makes complaints about parking losses resulting from developments in back of the FoxBay building and east of there harder to justify.
StaynConnected October 21, 2012 at 05:43 PM
One has to wonder why storefront rents in Whitefish Bay are so high. With all of the vacancies, I would think the market is quite soft - which should lead toward reasonable rents. The fact that is apparently isn't so, would suggest that the current property owners are a bit disconnected from reality. It would seem that this has to change, if we are going to ever have a vibrant business district.
Bob McBride October 21, 2012 at 06:10 PM
Are rents really that much higher than they are for similar storefronts in, say, Shorewood? Or is it that there isn't enough traffic for these businesses to justify the rent at its current level - or at any relatively reasonable level?
Been there done that October 22, 2012 at 12:51 AM
I think there is room for a honey dip donut shoppe or another coffee shop.
Caitlin Grace October 22, 2012 at 02:42 AM
I would love to see a local breakfast place like cafe Hollander or broken yoke open up on silver spring!

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