AUBURN — Saying it was the right decision but not an easy one, Craft-Mania’s owner announced Monday that the store will close in September.
The largest independently-owned craft store in Maine, Craft-Mania opened on Center Street 25 years ago and had been in the Auburn Plaza for 14 years.
“Sales were down,” said Lee Duguay, who owns the store with his wife, Barbara. “(Customers) are all sad to see us go, they don’t want to shop anyplace else, but unfortunately, the reality is that enough of my customers have gone elsewhere that it’s no longer viable for us to stay open.”
Fifteen employees will lose their jobs.
Duguay cited increased local competition as a factor. Hobby Lobby opened less than a mile away last year.
The store will be closed Tuesday and Wednesday as it preps for a liquidation sale starting Thursday. Discounts will slowly pick up until the inventory is gone, likely mid-September, he said.
Duguay has ruled out reopening in a smaller space.
“It was tough but we’ve got to do it, unfortunately,” he said. “I’m not sure what I’ll be doing next; myself and all my employees will all be job-hunting.”
A few classes had to be canceled because of the closure. Duguay said he wasn’t sure where those would end up.