So Lullaby Lane in San Bruno has closed.
A victim of the recession and online competition, Lullaby Lane, which had been in business since 1947, will finally close its’ doors after one last sale Feb. 19, having served thousands of Bay Area expectant parents.
I remember going there in early 2000, just a few months into my twin pregnancy.
Armed with the latest (already dog-eared) version of ‘Baby Bargains,’ the have-to-have bible for soon-to-be parents, I was so excited to be finally able to turn my dream of purchasing a nursery and all the bits and bobs two babies would need, into reality.
It was a Saturday morning, and my husband and I were met by a crush. I had no idea so many women were pregnant in the Bay Area.
I had also had no idea that Lullaby Lane was the only store of decent size catering to the pregnant market on the Mid-Peninsula.
How could that be?
Bay Area people were swashing in money at that time. We still don’t do too badly relatively speaking. Dotcom millionaires, venture capitalists, and plain old ordinary folks must have rubbed shoulders bellies in that store.
Because there was nowhere else to go one-stop baby shopping.
Barry Gevertz, owner of the store, said they tried many things to keep the store afloat.
“We spent hundreds of thousands of dollars with companies who promised they could develop a website for us that would echo the experience of the store. They failed to deliver, or went out of business.”
And eventually, “We became nostalgic rather than relevant in today’s retail,” as customers did their research in the store, then went home to buy their layettes, cribs and strollers from the cheapest online vendor.
Such is retail reality these days but as I listened to the news segment last night, I couldn’t help but think back to those heady days of excitement and wonder. Of looking and touching and comparing.
Lullaby Lane has its’ own place in my memory bank.
It was a store that participated in just about the most exciting time of my life. It was a time of possibilities, without limits and, for me, the realizing of a long-cherished dream. It was a place where I finally felt I’d joined a club. A club I’d wondered if I’d ever get accepted into. The pregnancy club.
It was a brave, exciting, new world. Uncharted territory holding possible dangers I wasn’t yet fully cognizant of. I didn’t know where I was going exactly. But I knew I was going somewhere I’d never been before. I knew it might get complicated.
And Lullaby Lane was my first stop on the way.