NEWTON, Mass. (AP) — A nearly 70-year-old Massachusetts bicycle sales and repair shop has closed, a victim of the pandemic and a changing business landscape, according to its founder.
Harris Cyclery in Newton closed its doors for good on June 13, The Boston Globe reported. Closing the family-owned business was like experiencing a death in the family, said Aaron “Sonny” Harris, who founded the store in 1952.
“It was a very difficult decision,” Harris said in a telephone interview. “I’m 88 years old, but I was still going in every day.”
He said children would get their first bicycles at the store, then return years later with their own kids. Even though the shop was an early pioneer in online sales, in recent years it has faced increasing competition online.
The pandemic’s impact on the store’s supply chain made it difficult to keep new bicycles in stock. And although repairs kept the business going, some parts were hard to get due to supply shortages.
Soon, the store was losing money, he said.
Saying goodbye to customers was the hardest part.
“We had people with tears in their eyes, and by the time they were done talking with me, I had tears in my eyes also,” Harris said.