AUSTIN, Texas — Before COVID-19 struck, retail stores were already struggling, but the pandemic has expedited the closing of yet another beloved store: Teacher Heaven, located on 8650 Spicewood Springs Road.
"Well, it's been a long time coming," said Teacher Heaven owner Susan Savoy.
After 24 years of providing teachers and students with supplies to express their creativity in the classroom, Savoy said she is closing down the last Teacher Heaven for good.
"We had eight stores at one time and now were are down to one," Savoy told KVUE.
Savoy said the school supply store is slated to close at the end of August, but that depends on how long supplies last.
"Right now, we're fully stocked and ready to go," said Savoy. "We're selling fixtures ... bookcases ... all of our displays in here are for sale".
All items inside the store are 25% off.
First-grade teacher Jennifer Christopher took advantage of the sale, racking up a long receipt.
"I've been here five times since they announced they were closing," said Christopher. "I'm so sad that they are closing. I just keep coming back to get everything I need."
The first weeks of school will feature virtual learning, but Christopher said the decoration she bought will help her students feel some normalcy.
"I have set up a classroom at my house," explained Christopher. "So yes, it is virtual, but the kids are still getting that classroom feel to it."
The "classroom feel" has shifted for many teachers over the years. Savoy said the shift, coupled with COVID-19, made closing unavoidable.
"We can attribute some of it to the Internet shopping, but also the digital age where the kids are learning so much on iPads and computers," said Savoy. "The teachers are compelled to put less on their walls, decorate less, use less in the classroom."
"It makes them no less fabulous teachers, but it's just a whole different way of teaching, which does not involve a lot of this hands-on learning," Savoy added.
Savoy said she makes 60% of her revenue in June and August, right before school starts.
"People are going to miss Teacher Heaven," said Christopher.
Savoy, with a heavy heart, said she will miss the teachers, too.
"I can't imagine doing anything else," said Savoy. "Not really sure what I'm going to do after this."
Savoy told KVUE she thanks everyone who has shopped at Teacher Heaven for the past 24 years.
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