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Old Town Alexandria fixture "Why Not" toy store closing stokes concern | News

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Old Town Alexandria fixture "Why Not" toy store closing stokes concern

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WUSA9) -- A fixture in Old Town Alexandria is leaving and there was concern Tuesday night, it could be the start of a new, disappointing look to the historic city.  

Soon, you won't be able to see children child playing with toys in a toy store in Old Town Alexandria. Why Not, the historic city's only toy store, is going out of business. 

"I thought this place would stand. It has such loyal customers," said Marianne Garbaliauskas who has three children, including a new born, and has been coming here for seven years. 

Kate Schlabach, who's owned the store for 47 years, said she can't compete with Amazon. 

"People are sad. I've had customers coming in crying. One brought in a photo of herself as a little girl on the beach holding one of the first plastic "Why Not" bags that we made," said Schlabach.

And she really hates it when shoppers come in and take picture of merchandise, only to purchase it cheaper on line. 

"I really don't think people grasp what they're doing, that they're going to be putting all the independents out of business," said Schlabach. 

A block away, the gift store Decorium is already closed. And another store leaving. 

The worry is that all the unique shops won't be able keep going. 

Bob King, who leases his building to an art gallery, hopes Old Town does not become another Georgetown, filled with mostly big franchises.

Schlabach said she's planning to close Why Not  by the end of the month. Trying to get rid of merchandise, she put everything in the store 30% off. She said she does not plan to cut that deeper. 

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