PA General Store owner Julie Holahan at the shop’s Chestnut Hill location which is now closed. (Photo by Brendan Sample)

by Brendan Sample

After nearly three years of operation in the neighborhood, the Pennsylvania General Store officially closed its Chestnut Hill branch this past weekend, with Sunday being its last day. Though the closing may seem premature at first, owner Julie Holahan is keeping the door open to a potential return in the future, calling this initial stint a “learning experience” for the franchise.

“It’s very likely that we’ll try to find a space in Chestnut Hill at a later juncture after we get regrouped,” Holahan said. “I can’t say enough nice things about the community … It’s a wonderful place.”

Though the company has been around for almost 30 years, with its 30th anniversary coming up this fall, the Chestnut Hill store represented a recent shift toward retail-based operations. The owners wanted to get a better sense of shopping patterns in a physical location compared to mail orders, but the plans changed after Michael Holahan, Julie Holahan’s husband and co-owner of the Pennsylvania General Store, died in 2015.

“That was his location that he managed,” Holahan explained. “The company lost a key player after Michael passed, so we ultimately decided to pull in our reins a little bit and focus on mail orders.”

Looking into the near future, the closing of the Chestnut Hill branch will not affect the overall business in any specific way. Plans to renovate the other main retail location at the Reading Terminal Market were already in place to accommodate the 30th anniversary.

While the franchise may not have a physical location in the neighborhood anymore, it still plans to have a presence in Chestnut Hill regardless. In addition to being able to place mail orders online for home delivery, Holahan also confirmed that it fully intends to return for the Harry Potter Festival in October.

To browse the Pennsylvania General Store’s entire selection of products and place delivery orders, visit pageneralstore.com.

Brendan Sample can be reached at brendan@chestnuthilllocal.com

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