Chapel Hill losing art supply store

December 23, 2011 

Studio Supply, the art supply store at 421 W. Franklin St. in Chapel Hill, will closeSaturday after 26 years in business.

The shop has seen asignificant decrease in customers over the years, owner Jim Shura said.

"Business is terrible; it's been going down for four or five years," he said. "It just got to the point where it was just losing too much money for us to keep it up."

Shura and his wife, Claire Reeder, bought the store in April 1999. They own the building, but Shura said he didn't know what kind of business would replace Studio Supply.

The couple owns another art supply store, True Blue Art Supply in Asheville, which they bought in 2004.

That store is twice the size of Studio Supply, Shura said.

Many of their big customers who used to live in Chapel Hill and bought from Studio Supply have moved to Asheville and now buy more from their other store, Shura said.

"What we've seen is that a lot of the customers that used to go and spend a lot of money in Studio Supply are coming here to Asheville," he said.

Shura said when The Streets at Southpoint mall was built in Durham, foottraffic along Franklin Street declined.

"That's when things started to go downhill in Chapel Hill," he said.

"Now it seems like the big thing that people go to Franklin Street for is to eat, not really to shop."

Staff writer Katelyn Ferral

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