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Dollhouse store on the move to Westlock

Daisy Dollhouse to close its Grandin mall location in late April

By: Viola Pruss

  |  Posted: Saturday, Apr 05, 2014 06:00 am

MOBILE HOMES – Irene Cornwell of Daisy Dollhouse is moving the business to Westlock due to the closure of Grandin Park Plaza and a lack of affordable space in St. Albert and Morinville.
MOBILE HOMES – Irene Cornwell of Daisy Dollhouse is moving the business to Westlock due to the closure of Grandin Park Plaza and a lack of affordable space in St. Albert and Morinville.
FILE PHOTO/St. Albert Gazette

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When she closes the doors to her business in Grandin mall, Irene Cornwell is taking all her houses with her.

The owner of Daisy Dollhouse, one of many stores affected by the impending closure and redevelopment of Grandin Park Plaza by owner Amacon, is closing her store during the last week of April.

On May 17, she will open a new, Saturday-only store in Westlock.

“It’s been a very, very pleasant journey and we really enjoyed being in St. Albert,” she says. “But even in Morinville the cost for retail space is high … so you just keep heading north.”

Daisy Dollhouse started in 1988 with Cornwell, her husband and a blue bus that had white daisies painted all over it. On Saturdays, the couple drove it to local farmers’ markets to sell their homemade dollhouses and miniature furniture.

As the business grew more popular, the Cornwells moved it to a number of different locations in Edmonton. Then, eight years ago, they found a home in Grandin Park Plaza.

Due to some health issues and their age – the couple is now in their late 70s – they recently decided to return to a Saturday-only model. And they would have stayed in St. Albert if it weren’t for the closure of the mall, she says.

But retail space for small business is simply not affordable in the city, she says. She adds that she is very concerned about other businesses in the mall that are not able to retire.

“I am not picking on St. Albert. It’s true everywhere,” she says.

“You’re going to have this massive group of big-box stores and you are going to have young people that wish to start their own business and they will find that it’s just not possible.”

The new Daisy Dollhouse will open May 17 at the Westlock Capri Centre Mall. Cornwell says she doesn’t have a phone number for the store yet but will try to keep her old one for a while so customers can reach her.

Their Grandin mall location will close around April 23 or 24.


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