After a very short time in the Pigeon Forge area Boyds Bear has decided to close its doors.
The Boyds Collection, Ltd., a leading designer and manufacturer of unique, whimsical and “Folksy With Attitude(SM)” gifts and collectibles, announced yesterday that it will be closing its Pigeon Forge, Tennessee retail location on or before October 29, 2006.
“The decision to close the Pigeon Forge location was the result of a careful evaluation of the company’s direction and resources. We need to continue to focus attention on our core business of creating and delivering quality products and strengthening our wholesale business,” commented Bob Coccoluto, Boyds’ CEO. “We want to thank everyone in the Pigeon Forge community, especially our dedicated associates, for all of their support.”
The Company will continue to operate its 120,000 square foot flagship retail location, located in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. “The Gettysburg store will remain a key part of our business and be an important showcase for our products,” said Mr. Coccoluto. “Additionally, we are working on a number of initiatives focused on promoting and supporting the many retailers who have customers visiting the Gettysburg store throughout the year. Announcements of these initiatives will be made in the upcoming weeks.
Leon Downey with the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism told the Herald, “It’s unfortunate in lots of ways for us and all the employees. It’s a big loss for the city. We are sad and unhappy but those are corporate decisions. They have new ownership and they are doing what they feel they have to do for the betterment of their company.”
Downey said that their heart goes out to all those people who have worked there since the store opened and put some much into making it a successful venture. “I’m been here 18 years and we have never experienced anything for this magnitude where 100 plus people will lose their jobs,” stated Downey.
Since moving into our area in November of 2004, the Boyds Bear organization has been a great participate in community affairs and organizations. Doing what they could to lend a helping hand.
“Boyds Bear General Manager for the Pigeon Forge location Will Edwards was instrumental in working with the community. “He opened the store and you could not ask for a better partner to work with. Edwards and his staff have been so supportive of everything we’ve done by supporting us by participating in city sponsored special events. They have bent over backwards to work with the City of Pigeon Forge,” stated Downey adding, “You have to make hard decisions in business and this one didn’t work in our favor. I’m sure it was a difficult decision for them to make.”
Earlene M. Teaster, Pigeon Forge City Manager told The Herald “It’s just a sad day in the city of Pigeon Forge. We just thoroughly enjoyed working with them and they were such a great fit for the tourism here. Already today – we’ve had people tell us they are terribly upset Boyd’s Bear is closing the store.”
Teaster closed with, “We are not sure why but they were doing a tremendous business here, but sometimes with new ownership comes new decisions.”