Nob Hill’s Jhonny to Close

Nob Hill’s Jhonny to Close

Owner cites ART construction, online shopping for closure

Hey Jhonny Says Goodbye to Nob Hill After 20 Years

‘This neighborhood needs help from the city, otherwise it’s just going to dissolve’ – Tom Ford

UPDATES WITH ART COMMENT

BY JOHNNY VIZCAINO

Seductions

Nob Hill is bracing for its first small business casualty of 2017, and Albuquerque Rapid Transit project is partly to blame, the owner says.

After 20 years as a local specialty retailer in the neighborhood, Hey Jhonny, 3418 Central Ave. SW, is going out of business next month.

“It is with a heavy heart that we have decided to close the store,” said owner Tom Ford in a statement Monday. “There are many variables that went into this decision, including the changing face of brick and mortar retail, online sales, the change of the Nob Hill neighborhood and the impact of the ART project.”

Starting this week, the home furnishing and gift store will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. The store’s closing sale begins this weekend with prices starting at 30 percent off. Then, on Jan. 23, it will be 40 percent off. Finally, the store will offer 50 percent off beginning on Feb. 4.

The doors will close for good on Feb. 17.

With the emergence of online shopping, it’s been difficult to stay in the game lately, Ford told ABQ Free Press Weekly, and holiday season construction in the area didn’t do local retailers any favors.

“It did not help us at all, it hindered,” he said, “The streets were empty, parking was available, but people were not coming to the Nob Hill area, afraid of the ART project.”

By no means is the ART project entirely to blame for the store’s closing, Ford said, but proponents of the project have no real idea of what it takes to run a small business.

Joan Griffin, a spokesperson for the ART project, said, “We are sorry to learn about Hey Jhonny’s decision to close and appreciate the tough business climate that all retailers are facing. Just this last week, national giants The Limited, Sears and Macy’s announced closing Albuquerque locations as well.”

She went on, “Since March, the ART communications team reached out to Hey Jhonny 13 times to keep them abreast of ART construction, promotions and special events that could be leveraged to increase business. The Small Business Resource Collaborative connected with Hey Johnny three times to offer free business and marketing consulting, but Hey Jhonny decided to not take advantage of their free services.”

Ford said the store was kept going by it’s unique and quirky feel, quality, and tactile shopping experience, he said, something that is increasingly harder to come by all across the country.

Consumers who have turned their backs on local retailers are leading to the demise of small businesses in Albuquerque, including those in Nob Hill, Ford said.

“They would come out, and we’d see people at least once a week,” he said of the neighborhood. “It’s not that way anymore.”

“This neighborhood needs help from the city, otherwise it’s just going to dissolve,” Ford said, “Nob Hill needs help.”

 

The following two tabs change content below.
Albuquerque’s definitive alternative newspaper publishing an inquisitive, modern approach to the news and entertainment stories that matter most to New Mexicans. ABQ Free Press’ fresh voice speaks to insightful and involved professionals who care deeply about our community.

Latest posts by ABQ Free Press (see all)

7 comments

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

7 Comments

  • Melissa
    January 9, 2017, 7:21 pm

    When I hear that "a spokesperson for ART" says anything what rings in my ear is the only TV news coverage where "a spokesperson for ART" is advising people to avoid Central because of ART. I wonder if after they called the Mr. Ford to commiserate? apologize? offer useless advice? The proponents of ART do not care about small businesses.

    REPLY
  • Maria Bautista
    January 9, 2017, 9:19 pm

    Joanie Griffin is not a spokesperson for A.R.T. she is their mouthpiece. The Small Business Collaborative explained to me that there was no money for "forgjveable" loans for businesses that were damaged by A.R.T. construction, as promised. Gary Oppendahl Economic Director for ABQ says, on public TV, CABQ is broke. The uniqueness of the EDO UNM Nov Hill area will never be the same. The ambiance and summer night breeze can never be experienced the same way (no trees), watching the birds flying in and out. Or looking up the road at the church (historic architecture) or walking our dogs and stopping for coffee. It will no longer exist.
    Instead it will be steriile, devoid of a heart beat, with buses driving by at 40 mph and no where to take refuge.

    REPLY
  • Diane Denish
    January 10, 2017, 7:27 am

    So sorry to see them go. They provided products and ambiance and fun we can’t find online. And as for ART spokesperson — hope they are paying you a lot to dismiss all the grief and sadness that goes with the demise of Nob Hill and all its possibilities to be something unique for Albuquerque.

    REPLY
  • Shorty
    January 10, 2017, 2:45 pm

    << Joan Griffin, a spokesperson for the ART project, said, “We are sorry to learn about Hey Jhonny’s decision to close and appreciate the tough business climate that all retailers are facing. Just this last week, national giants The Limited, Sears and Macy’s announced closing Albuquerque locations as well.”>>

    Are bragging abt the overall terrible atmosphere of retail bidnezz in the burque Ms Griffin, cause thats wut it sounds like. A 20 year old lical bidnezz is closing, & you justify it because other corporate retail giants are doing the same. Basically admitting that this administration not only has created a poisonous bidnezz climate, but adding fuel 2 that fire by stressing them even more w/ a construction project nobody wanted. Amazing leadership on display at CABQ, fiddling while the city bleeds out. No $$$ 2 offer these businesses 2 stay afloat, but FREE ADVICE on how 2 run their bidnezz right? Wonder how much the people dolling out that advice are getting paid?

    REPLY
  • Kent Gurley
    January 10, 2017, 10:30 pm

    Hey Jhonny’s has been our favorite store in ABQ for quite some time. A store so professionally merchandized and managed certainly should not need marketing help from the City. It is a sad statement about the state of the economy in ABQ. Quality creative endeavors like HJ deserve to be supported by a vibrant community. ABQ is just not quite there yet. Three cheers to HJ, and Thanks for trying.

    REPLY

The following two tabs change content below.
Albuquerque’s definitive alternative newspaper publishing an inquisitive, modern approach to the news and entertainment stories that matter most to New Mexicans. ABQ Free Press’ fresh voice speaks to insightful and involved professionals who care deeply about our community.

Latest posts by ABQ Free Press (see all)