Scrapbook Garden near Maple and Ridge to close

WICHITA — The last Scrapbook Garden in Wichita is closing.

Bob and Kathy McCreary, who in 2008 lost their lease at Eastgate Plaza, now are closing their 12-year-old store at Maple and Ridge.

“Closing the store was a painful decision — one that we were forced to take given the current economic and retail environment,” Bob McCreary says. “We were not willing to sign a long-term lease.”

He says his landlord wanted them to sign for another five years. The McCrearys wanted to sign a two-year lease.

“Up to the very end we were buying product and hopeful that he would come to the table, but it just never did materialize,” McCreary says.

The store is closed today but will reopen at 10 a.m. Thursday for a closing sale, which will run until merchandise and fixtures are liquidated.

“We’re aggressively marking things down from 25 to 75 percent off,” McCreary says. “When it’s gone is when we’ll be out.”

He says he and his wife didn’t think trying to move the store would work.

“It would be hard to communicate a new location,” he says. “There would be a lot of build-up cost . . . associated with a new property.”

Also, McCreary says, the scrapbooking trend peaked in 2004.

He says a lot of the store’s employees have been there the entire dozen years the store has been open.

“That’s one of the reasons why it was so painful to close.”

He says there is “a bright point in all this gloom.”

“Our scrapbookers and paper crafters will love this sale.”