Area 58 Closing

Area 58 Closing

We’re saddened to share the news that Area 58 [map], one of Spokane’s most colorful secondhand and vintage stores, is closing.

As part of their pre-closure inventory liquidation, everything is 50% off. Their impressive selection of secondhand books is priced at $1 per hardback and 50¢ per paperback.

Their last day of operation is this Saturday, June 30.

In a brief conversation with the owner, the reason for the closure comes down to flatlining (as opposed to falling) profits over the past three years. She said that more competing secondhand shops have opened on account of the poor economy, and the improvements in parking and pedestrian traffic that N. Monroe Revitalization might have brought are still some years off.

But the case of Area 58 highlights how vital it is to our neighborhood economy that the revitalization be carried out in an intelligent, holistic way — not one that just benefits vehicles. Faster-flowing traffic would not have helped Area 58 or any of the dozen other N. Monroe business that have closed in the past year. More pleasant and convenient pedestrian access would have.

It also highlights how important it is that N. Monroe business owners band together and engage in cross-promotional activities like sales and special events. Organizations like the North Monroe Business Association are eager to get things like that off the ground, but the level of participation seems to suggest that N. Monroe business owners would rather close their doors than collaborate.

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