It was a nice run, but the finish line came up too soon for one downtown State College business.
Anthym, an apparel and shoe store geared largely toward runners and outdoor activity, will close Sunday after more than two years in business on College Avenue.
“It was a tough decision, but we saw ourselves coming up on two years for the last few months and it was make or break,” Anthym manager Anne Williams said. “It came down to not being able to create enough sales and business, and the rent is pretty high in State College. We really did a big job of making it nice when we moved in, and we became a part of the community. We just didn’t have enough business.”
Store leadership had a few goals when the business opened — to be a space where people built relationships, to collaborate with local businesses and to combine the two to thrive as a retailer.
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The plan worked to an extent, just not well enough.
“I think we did that, and it takes time to develop relationships and offer consistent events,” Williams said. “Our community events and collaboration proved to be a great resource and allowed people to get to know us. In turn, a lot of people became loyal customers and friends. We thrived as much as we could from that model.”
Williams pointed to online shopping as the store’s biggest competitor.
“We have been carrying big brand names, and most places are price matching,” she said. “Sometimes people were finding cheaper prices than what we would have to sell it at to be in business.”
While the end wasn’t what they expected, Williams said, they’ll carry on Anthym’s mission.
“It’s just important to first create a sense of community whether you’re into yoga, you’re a runner or going to the gym,” Williams said. “It’s not just apparel or shoes that tie you together. We really wanted to bring more people in the community together, and we did. And I would love to see more people take the risk and open a store. They are few and far between. I really hope people still take the risk to do it.”