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Norwich - The Birkenstock Store, an online shoe business, closed its doors this week after operating for 40 years at 3 N. Second Ave. in Taftville.
Store owners Jim and Gail Moore posted a closure notice on the store's website announcing the closing.
"It is with deep regret to formally inform you that we are permanently closing our business operations," the posted notice read. "Gail and I have decided that our business model cannot compete anymore. … We have had a long history with the footwear community and have forged many friendships and invaluable partnerships; but have since found it increasingly difficult to cope with the rapidly changing business climate and the ongoing harsh economic climate."
The owners also said the death of their daughter, Heather, who was a business partner, "had a major effect on our operations."
The Moores also said they attempted to sell the business to one of the store's vendors to no avail. The store had been open since 1974.
Joanne Glidden, owner of Hair Do's beauty salon next door at 9 N. Second Ave., said she will miss her longtime neighbor.
Glidden said the Birkenstock store held an online clearance sale through the month of April and spent the past two weeks cleaning out the store.
"They were wonderful neighbors," Glidden said. "They helped me out tremendously. They would shovel snow for me in the winter. We watched out for each other. I hope the space fills in relatively quickly."