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Popular Franklin Toy Store To Close Its Doors

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Posted at 6:16 PM, Jan 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-08 20:27:58-05

The Main Street Toy Company has been a mainstay on Franklin Main Street for more than a decade, but the store's owner said she could no longer afford the rent, forcing her to close its doors.

Kin LaRocca has owned the toy store for the last three-and-a-half years, but the store opened 11 years ago in downtown Franklin.

Customer learned Friday the store would close.

"It's one of the most charming things about Franklin, is this store. I cannot believe it's closing," said customer Amye Harrison.

She has brought her children to the store for many years, and said she will miss it on Main Street.

"The love to come in, and we can check out the toys, get ideas for birthday and Christmas, they play. Then we grab a little treat as we're walking out, and it's a fun little event for everybody," according to Harrison.

LaRocca said she signed a short-term lease with the building's owner in September and could not come to terms on a new amount of rent.

The store's owner told NewsChannel 5 she could not afford the increase and had no choice but to close the store. LaRocca said she will continue to look for another location for the store, but so far she has been unsuccessful in her search.

The Main Street Toy Company will start a going out of business sale Saturday morning. All merchandise will be 20%. LaRocca said the store will close sometime in February.

A few block from the toy store the Tin Cottage is located on Margin Street. The store's owner in president of the Downtown Franklin Association. 

"We continue to get an increase in business, an increase in people coming," Marianne DeMeyers said.

Sales at the Tin Cottage doubled in 2015 as more, and more, shoppers travel to downtown Franklin.

"I'm friends with most of the business owners in downtown Franklin, and I will tell you, they have said they have had a substantial increase in business this year," according to DeMeyers.

The business owner said it is very rare to see a store along Main Street close its doors.

"We hold a list, and it's a very long list, of people who are looking for space in downtown Franklin," DeMeyers said.

LaRocca said the owner of the building where her store is located already has a tenant lined up to move in when she closes next month.