WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (KRON) – Owners of the last mom-and-pop shop in Walnut Creek’s Broadway Plaza say they’re being forced out of business before the holidays. The family-run ‘Decors de France’ is closing this weekend because they say the mall’s owners have terminated their lease early.
Decors de France had a lease that ran until February 2023. It would carry them through the ever-important holiday shopping season, but now this family-run French boutique is being told to leave to make room for a bigger luxury store.
The little store among big-name brands, Decors de France has been in Walnut Creek for more than a decade. The last two of those years, they’ve been neighbors with the high-end shops at Broadway Plaza. But this weekend, they will have to close their doors for good.
“Very sad… Very sad. We survived the pandemic, but we couldn’t survive the corporations,” owner Karima Abdelhadi said.
Decors de France’s lease has been terminated early to make room for French luxury brand Chanel. It’s an abrupt blow for the store’s owners.
“This is the worst time of the year for this to happen. If it happened during slow season — January, February, March… we can handle it. But for it to happen unexpectedly in the hot season, it’s just bad timing,” Reba Abdelhadi, the son of owner Karima Abdelhadi, said.
It is especially bad because the store has already ordered items preparing for holiday shoppers. Now, those goods will have to be stored somewhere else as the family tries to move the business online.
The store’s co-owner, Karima Abdelhadi, says the boutique is unique. Unlike other shops in the mall, it’s filled with items made and imported from France. For Abdelhadi the store also stands out because it’s family-run.
“This is like a home for us,” she said. “We work every day and we don’t get tired because we love what we do.”
Their customers have expressed outrage about the lease termination on social media. Some said their final goodbyes in person.
“It is unique. It isn’t a huge corporate store. It was something that is unusual these days and I’m heartbroken that it isn’t going to be here,” one customer said.
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The family has tried to find somewhere else to move to within Broadway Plaza, but nothing has been made available. They say they’ve felt slighted by the mall’s owners throughout this situation, but they also want to take the high road.
“I have to say ‘thank you’ to Broadway Plaza,” Karima said. “They gave us a space here. We operated our business and they made us happy but the end is bad, that’s all.”
KRON4 has reached out to the mall’s owners and Broadway Plaza for comment on this situation and as of Thursday night, they have not responded.