Scandinavian Gift Chalet Moves Business Online

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Photo Credit: The Gift Chalet Auburn
Photo Credit: The Gift Chalet Auburn
Photo Credit: The Gift Chalet Auburn

AUBURN, Mass. - After 35 years, the Scandanavian Gift Chalet, located at 8 Washington St. in Auburn, has closed its doors -- transitioning to online shopping only.

For decades, the brick and mortar store has offered Scandinavian gifts, food imports, and Dansko clogs but has seen its local business wane as customers turned to online stores for their needs.

"Bittersweet day working at the Gift Chalet, which is closing its bricks-and-mortar store after 35 years and moving to online only, as online commerce has, indeed, taken over the world," Michelle Weagle, a part-time employee for 23 years commented on her Facebook page earlier last month.

"The owners are fine. They have adapted with the times and their embroidery business and online sales far exceed the profits in the store. Hence the closure. People just don't shop in small businesses anymore," Weagle said.

According to Gift Chalet President Susan Forsberg Wilkicki, the store could not remain open based on holiday sales only.

"People only come during Christmas," she said. "The old Swedes who were Swedish everyday are gone and the customers we have now are only Swedish in December. We have had to go in other directions to make a living."

Customers seeking specialty items are encouraged to order through the Chalet's website.

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