NYC has lost a lot of its mom-and-pop specialty stores in recent years, but it never gets easier. Locals will soon be mourning the loss of A.I. Friedman, the 80-year-old art supply store on West 18th Street.
A.I. Friedman is actually the fourth independent art supply retailer to close over the past two years in Manhattan, according to the New York Post.
A.I. Friedman will close on April 30. Pearl Paint shut down in 2014, and New York Central Art Supply and Lee’s Art Shop both closed last year.
Independent art stores have faced competition from Blick, a fast growing chain. In 2013, Blick purchased Utrecht Art Supply’s 45 stores. It now operates 65 stores.
“We are one of the problems but certainly not the only one,” Blick chief executive Bob Buchsbaum told the Post. “It’s a challenging time for all retail.” [NYP] —Christopher Cameron