Downtown Minot business owner speaks on making tough decision to close shop

MINOT, N.D. - As downtown Minot goes through a multi-year transformation, the city's downtown merchants are feeling the effects of the construction.

A sign outside of Lulu Lane in Minot says 'Open' though that will soon be changing.

Owner Carisa Reinholdt has chosen to close the boutique on Central Avenue in its third year.

She said she believes the ongoing construction projects that cut off streets leading to her store discouraged shoppers from making the trek.

“We had a space about this big for customers to get to for several months, and so some people couldn't get in because you can't bring a stroller through that,” said Reinholdt.

Reinholdt said other downtown merchants are also feeling the pinch.

“The consensus for the majority of businesses is the same, that it's a struggle. It's a struggle to get people here. The parking garages that are built, people, customers don't use them,” she said.

She said she wished she would have made adjustments in her merchandise, but she did use social media to spark interest and get people in the door.

In the end, it just wasn't enough.

“To think about doing it for two more years, and not having the foot traffic in the store, just to hang on, seemed like a foolish business practice,” she said.

Reinholdt, who has two children and a third on the way, said she treated Lulu Lane like it was one of her own.

“This was, is my baby, and it's sad to see it come to an end,” she said.

As a parting message, Reinholdt encouraged residents to keep downtown alive.

“We're the people who coach your son and daughter's soccer teams, and we're the people that you work alongside with in the PTA, and when you spend your dollars locally, we turn around provide for the community, too,” she said.

Reinholdt said she has not set a close date, but will remain open as long as customers buy what's left.

She said she is leaving the door open for other business ventures in the future.