Students walking past College Avenue may notice several bold white letters displayed on Sercy’s windows today – C-L-O-S-I-N-G.
Sercy, a women’s clothing and gift store, announced Tuesday morning via Facebook post that it will be closing its doors. The store, located at 224 E. College Ave., will soon make the transition from Sercy to Zilloclean, a residential cleaning service store with Sercy’s current owner, Christina Monzillo, leading the company.
Originally, the store was known to many as Access, a downtown boutique. Access had been operating successfully since 1997; however, Monzillo chose to reinvent the store in August 2014, and since then the store has been known to many downtown shoppers as Sercy.
The change allowed the store to incorporate more gifts into its merchandise, Monzillo said. Items for customers to purchase include gifts such as jewelry, greeting cards and lotions.
By adding gifts to the list of merchandise, Sercy had a better chance of competing with the downtown Urban Outfitters, located next to Sercy, Monzillo said.
“It’s a shame because a lot of college girls like to shop there,” Kathryn Wroblewski, a former member of Shop Small State, said.
Shop Small State was a blog conducted by six students in the Leadership Jumpstart class, a three-credit honors course. Shop Small State was dedicated to teaching students the importance of promoting small businesses, Wroblewski (freshman-mathetmatics) said.
“I think it’s probably difficult for some of the downtown shops to keep up with online shopping. I know a lot of students find shopping online quicker and cheaper,” Wroblewski said.
However, it is not necessarily a lack of revenue that lead Monzillo to leave retail.
“I decided I wanted to leave retail because it can be very taxing and I would like to have more time to spend with my family,” Monzillo said.
By owning her own retail business, Monzillo said she had to work most weekends and with a change in services, she is hoping to have more free time.
“I am happy to hear that the space will remain a local business rather than becoming a franchise,” Shop Small State blogger Rachel Ebner said. “The small businesses in State College creates a nice community and when the franchises come to town that can make State College lose its charm,” Ebner (freshman-marketing) said.
Sercy’s last shipment of products will arrive after Valentine’s Day and will feature spring merchandise for the upcoming warmer season. The store plans to remain open until April of this year and is offering 20 percent off its merchandise as part of a going-out-of-business special, said Monzillo.
Although Monzillo will now be making the transition from retail to cleaning services, she said she could see herself opening another retail store in the future but she does not believe it would be in the downtown area.
“I am very grateful for the customers that have stuck with Access and Sercy over the years,” Monzillo said.
To read the article which was originally published on The Daily Collegian, click here.