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Pedagogy Toys closing this week

Pedagogy Toys at the River Market in New Westminster announced on its Facebook page this afternoon that it is shutting down at the end of this week. The locally owned toy store has had its share of ups and downs over the last couple of years.

Pedagogy Toys at the River Market in New Westminster announced on its Facebook page this afternoon that it is shutting down at the end of this week.

The locally owned toy store has had its share of ups and downs over the last couple of years. In the fall of 2010, Karen Smecher announced that she would be closing her then-Sapperton based toy store for good - due in part to months of construction outside her store and a generally tough business climate. She later reopened Pedagogy Toys at the River Market.

The Facebook notice said: "To all of our friends, we are sad to say that we are now entering our last week open. The last five years have been a real amazing experience. We have shared many life experiences together and now wish you all the best. Thank you for choosing small independent stores and supporting your local economy."

Mark Shieh of the River Market called Pedagogy's decision to close a "loss."

"Not only for New West, but for the independent business landscape," he said. "While there are many factors that compounded Pedagogy's decision to close, a big factor is personal in nature. When River Market set out to cultivate a marketplace for independent businesses rather than chain stores, we also knew that this path was going to be more difficult. There's more risk with small, independent shops because small business owners usually do not have a deep financial safety net. They rely on a small team - often it is family members. It's more difficult to weather through tough times when personal matters shake the business side, but, nevertheless, small business owners create more interesting shops, more diverse richness, more soul to our city."

There are two interested parties who were inquiring about the space and Shieh said they will announce the new tenant in about a month.

Smecher hadn't been reached at press time.

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