Dec. 26 will be a sad day for James Derheim.
Derheim, who has co-owned European Focus Village with his wife, Jenean, since 2003, will be closing the downtown shop’s doors the day after Christmas.
Derheim said a combination of factors — including a recession and a parking-meter battle downtown — has hurt business over the past year-and-a-half.
“After nine years, the numbers are undeniable,” Derheim said. “It does not make sense for us to be in brick-and-mortar retail.”
The Derheims opened European Focus Village in 2003, in Burns Square. In 2009, they moved it to a larger space on State Street. A year later, they moved the store to a more visible storefront on Main Street.
Derheim, who led the fight to convince the city to remove parking meters downtown, attributed at least half of his woes at the Main Street location to the parking-meter debacle that confused and angered customers.
Despite the closing of their store, the Derheim's said they plan to continue their other business, European Focus Private Tours, which offers guided tours throughout Europe.
For more on this story see the Thursday edition of the Sarasota Observer.