With customers everywhere closing their wallets, it's hard for small businesses to survive. Facing sky-high rents on Honolulu Avenue, several Montrose merchants are packing up their inventory and moving to new locations on Ocean View Boulevard.
"The leases are increasing on Honolulu Avenue and therefore businesses are moving to Ocean View Boulevard," said Danielle Smith, owner of . "Ocean View is a great street to be on because there is a lot of foot traffic due to the and . "
Smith always planned to keep her business in Montrose and finds the new location, at 3817 1/2 Ocean View Blvd., to be a better fit.
"It's actually a better building altogether," said Smith. "It's about the same size as our current space."
Another business relocating to Ocean View Boulevard is . The store, currently located at 2274 Honolulu Avenue, plans to move to a smaller location around the corner at 3701 Ocean View Boulevard inside the Montrose Shopping Plaza.
"We are changing the style of our store," said Lily Lahi, owner of Shoe Fantasy. "We are currently a family shoe store and at the new location we will be more of a trendy, fashion-forward shoe store aimed at teenagers."
In order to prepare for their February move, Lahi noted the store is currently downsizing their inventory to make room for more women's styles.
While Shoe Fantasy and The Paper Rabbit prepare for their upcoming moves, another Montrose merchant is planning to close its doors permanently. , which has been at its current location inside the Montrose Shopping Plaza for a year and a half, will close on Thursday, Feb. 2.
"We will be going out of business and moving online very reluctantly," said Priscilla Luther-Heft, co-owner of Ocean View Books. "We didn't get enough people coming in and buying books to make staying here worthwhile."
Unlike other business owners, Luther-Heft is not closing shop due to escalating rents.
"It wasn't a matter of rents being too high, it was a matter of people buying books in a different way," said Luther-Heft. "People buy used books online and they expect to pay garage sale prices for them. I'm committed to having physical book stores, but I can't do it on my back forever."
Over the past year and a half, Luther-Heft has noticed that while retail stores struggle to survive in the Montrose Shopping District, the restaurant business continues to flourish.
"The restaurants and coffee shops survive around here," said Luther-Heft. "People talk a lot about supporting local businesses, but they don't seem to be acting on it."
Smith is confident that patrons will follow her to the new location, set to open by Thursday, March. 1, on Ocean View Boulevard. Her new store will feature a wide selection of solid and glitter papers, as well as new additions to the Mrs. Grossman's sticker line.
Starting Wednesday, Jan. 25, Smith plans to liquidate her store with special promotions. Customers will be able to pick out select items - without opening their wallet - from a free bin. Discount items will also be available for purchase from a 50 cent and $1 tables.
"Paper Rabbit has been in Montrose for 31 years and we plan on staying here for another 31 years," said Smith.
Note: The Paper Rabbit's new address in a previous version of the story changed on Thursday. As of Thursday, Jan. 26, The Paper Rabbit will move to 3817 1/2 Ocean View Blvd., Montrose, according to owner Danielle Smith.