Short North boutique Tigertree is closing
In late April, Josh Quinn, who opened Short North boutique Tigertree with wife Niki in March of 2007, wrote an op-ed for Alive in which the small business owner asked Gov. Mike DeWine to reconsider a mask mandate in Ohio. "The economic consequences of not doing so could be dire," Quinn wrote.
This morning, in a letter posted on Tigertree's website, Quinn announced the shop is closing its physical storefront. "Tigertree is not going away, but we will not have a physical presence for the foreseeable future," he wrote. "Many retailers are well suited for the shifts needed to operate in this climate; we actually own one of those with our children’s store, Cub Shrub. Tigertree, however, was built intentionally for a lot of people to come in every day and spend a considerable amount of time discovering things. What we’ve found over the past few weeks of being reopened, it doesn’t really work any other way."
At the same time, Quinn announced that Tigertree is moving its business online, and that he does plan to reopen a brick and mortar store someday. Even in early April, less than three weeks after stay-at-home orders shut down nonessential businesses, Quinn told Alive that while he's not grateful for the crisis, "I think some people will come out of this with a more refined business than they went into it with.”
At the end of today's closure announcement, Quinn offered some commentary and a challenge to Columbus voters. "We should not be in this mess," he wrote. "If you don't want to lose more places like Tigertree, please wear a mask and make sure everyone around you is wearing one, too. Consider whether the establishments you are supporting are making this situation better or worse. Above all else, this November and in subsequent elections, remember everyone who was in a position to act and failed to do so."
Read the letter in full below.
"We are heartbroken to say, the time has come for us to close our (physical) store. Over the past fourteen years you all have helped a couple of kids grow a dream from an alley to a small storefront to the home we’ve enjoyed for the past decade. However, at least for now, we need to wake from the dream for a little bit to get our bearings. I’ll say now and explain later, that Tigertree is not going away but we will not have a physical presence for the foreseeable future.
Many retailers are well suited for the shifts needed to operate in this climate, we actually own one of those with our children’s store, Cub Shrub. Tigertree, however, was built intentionally for a lot of people to come in every day and spend a considerable amount of time discovering things. What we’ve found over the past few weeks of being reopened, it doesn’t really work any other way. I’ve said many times throughout this ordeal that I am unwilling to put someone in a position that I myself am not comfortable. It’s why we’ve whittled our operation down to one person or group shopping together at a time.
I will also admit that this is about more than just the immediate impact on our numbers. The last few years have hosted a number of challenges that have lead me to reflect on what I've been missing. I look at my almost six year old and recognize large chunks of the most magical moments of her life I missed so I could go to meetings and yell about bagged parking meters, blocked sidewalks or permits. This next phase of this brick and mortar business would take similar efforts and I don’t have that fight in me right now. I’m not wired to be around these things and not get involved.
How We're Changing
Through the years we’ve sold everything from suits to greeting cards. For a while we refinished furniture, we even seriously thought about selling electric motorcycles and surfboards. What glued it all together was our passion and willingness to explore every distributary of our lifestyle brand. However tangential an item or category seemed it could always be traced back to the source. Our lack of an exact center allowed us to change our store as it (and you) changed us.
Now we’re ready for a new challenge, one that does involve having a center and a focus. We are going to be the best gift store on the internet. While our passions have allowed us to explore various interests through our wide array of products, what we’re best at, and what we’re primarily known for, is connecting people with unique and interesting gifts. We love finding cool stuff that excites us and getting you excited about it too.
This does mean that until such time as we reemerge with a physical store, we will not be carrying apparel. We will be reopening a brick and mortar shop in the future. The fact that the bulk our revenue will continue to be generated online at that point will allow us to create an even more amazing experience than you've been accustomed to in the past.
This scenario is going to create some pretty confusing messaging for a little bit. While we’re going to begin liquidating clothing, we’re still adding new (I just ordered a one last night you are going to love) gift brands. So we hope you will grab some great deals but also stick with us during this transition.
It’s going to be harder than I can express right now to move on from 787 N. High St. and those giant windows. I cannot wait to see what the next occupant (if you think it might be you, give us a shout) does with that magical space. I hope we’ve been the best stewards of it and the neighborhood that we could have been.
Starting today all apparel will be 10% off and will be final sale with the code “BYESTORE10”. Also our huge sale on sale is still going so “TAKE25” will still get you an additional 25% off sale stuff. If you’ve primarily been an apparel customer with us in the past, please consider checking out our gift, card and decor offerings, and watch them grow in the coming months.
If you plan to come to the store we highly recommend booking a free appointment here. We will be strictly enforcing one customer (or group of up to five together) at a time and if someone has a time slot approaching we most likely will not be able to grant you entry if you do not have an appointment booked. We do ask that you please give us 24 hours notice if you cannot make your appointment as this time is critical for us.
Almost everything but the chicken machine will be for sale (we couldn't possibly reopen without her), so if there is something you have your eye on let us know and we'll come up with a price. We might need to hold onto it for the couple of months this will all take but we're happy to reserve it for you.
Thanks again for being a part of our community and supporting us. Despite how painful this is, I am excited to tackle the challenge of nailing our online presence and am confident we'll reemerge to the brick and mortar world stronger than ever.
We should not be in this mess. If you don't want to lose more places like Tigertree please wear a mask and make sure everyone around you is wearing one too. Consider whether the establishments you are supporting are making this situation better or worse. Above all else, this November and in subsequent elections, remember everyone who was in a position to act and failed to do so.
With A Heavy Heart,