Thursday, September 28, 2023

This Settlers Market store is closing

New Concept Sports and Gifts at Settlers Market on Monticello Avenue will close April 23. (WYDaily/Courtesy Google Maps)
New Concept Sports and Gifts at Settlers Market on Monticello Avenue will close April 23. (WYDaily/Courtesy Google Maps)

A family-owned-and-operated sports memorabilia store in Williamsburg is closing after 18 years in business.

New Concept Sports and Gifts at Settlers Market on Monticello Avenue will close April 23, owners Henry and Joanne Wan announced in an email.

During the store’s last three weeks in business, items will be on sale from 30 to 80 percent off.

The store has been run by the Wans since they bought the business from its previous owners in 2001. The family originally operated the store at the former Williamsburg Outlet Mall in Lightfoot, then moved in 2014 to the Settlers Market location.

Henry Wan said his family is closing the store to spend more time with their two children, who are in middle school and high school in the Williamsburg area.

Running the business as a family — with only one other non-family member employee — has left the Wans with very little free time.

He added the family has only taken one family vacation since the store opened 18 years ago, and it was last year when a hurricane forced the store to close outside of regular hours.

“In the retail business, it’s hard to imagine how much time you put in work,” Henry Wan said.

Sales at the store have declined in recent years as online selling platforms have gained momentum, such as Ebay and Amazon.

“We lost a lot of sales because of competition on our sales,” Henry Wan said. “We came to the point where we decided to do something else.”

While the sales have declined over time, Henry Wan said he was confident the store’s inventory will be mostly gone by April 23 because of the large sales this month.

Henry Wan also said he and his wife will pursue “other interests,” but declined to say what the next step could be as it is not yet set in stone.

Whatever the family pursues, it will likely be outside of retail, unless they work for someone else.

“We’ll do something completely different,” Henry Wan said. “My wife and I are really thankful because the retail sales, that’s the only income our family had. We’ve raised our two children here, and we served the local sports fans very well.”

Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing is the Assistant Editor at WYDaily. Sarah was born in the state of Maine, grew up along the coast, and attended college at the University of Maine at Orono. Sarah left Maine in October 2015 when she was offered a job at a newspaper in West Point, Va. Courts, crime, public safety and civil rights are among Sarah’s favorite topics to cover. She currently covers those topics in Williamsburg, James City County and York County. Sarah has been recognized by other news organizations, state agencies and civic groups for her coverage of a failing fire-rescue system, an aging agriculture industry and lack of oversight in horse rescue groups. In her free time, Sarah enjoys lazing around with her two cats, Salazar and Ruth, drinking copious amounts of coffee and driving places in her white truck.

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