POULSBO — The McBride family opened its first Hallmark store in downtown Bremerton in 1968. It continued to open more stores over the years, including the location in Poulsbo in 1984.
But on March 27, the Poulsbo Village Hallmark store closed up shop for good.
“It’s really a hard thing, to make a decision like that,” owner Stacy McBride said. “It’s an unfortunate and bittersweet thing.”
The McBride family had up to eight Hallmark stores at one time. Recently, they closed their Oak Harbor and Port Orchard locations. Now, it is time to close the doors on Poulsbo as well.
“There’s changes in the economy and businesses change, the demographics and the customers change, and, unfortunately, people don’t send cards like they used to with all the social media going on,” McBride said. “It’s happened with a lot of Hallmark stores across the country. It’s a lot harder to survive these days.”
She added, “If you look around, a lot of small businesses are going down these days. It’s just not viable for us anymore.”
McBride thanked the customers who have helped the store last as long as it has. It’s a loyal customer base that employee Ross Benham knows well.
“It’s more than a Hallmark store, it’s a meeting place,” Benham said, who has worked at the Poulsbo store for 13 years. “It’s one of the only friendly places a senior citizen had.”
She added, “I would like to thank the customer base for being so loyal and wonderful. The staff here, we are really sorry that we are leaving.”