Ballistic latest business to close in downtown St. John's

Ballistic — which has been selling skate and snowboarding gear in downtown St. John's for over two decades — is closing for good in January.

Owner wants people to 'get out and support locally owned stores'

Ballistic won the Snowsports Industries America Canadian Retailer of the Year award in 2006, 2007 and 2012. (Ted Dillon/CBC)

Ballistic — which has been selling skate and snowboarding gear in downtown St. John's for over two decades — is closing for good in the new year.

Owner Lorne Loder says there isn't any one particular reason for the decision, but business has been "quiet" over the past couple of years and he's ready for a change.

"When you do any one thing for 21 years I think everybody looks at other options and considers change, so [it's] a combination of a couple of things really," Loder told CBC Radio's St. John's Morning Show.

According to Ballistic's Facebook page, it is one of the longest running skate shops in Atlantic Canada. (Ballistic Facebook page)

The closure was announced on social media Tuesday night, and Loder said people are surprised and sad to see Ballistic go.

"It certainly is one of the staples downtown."

The real message here is for people to get out and support locally owned stores.- Lorne Loder

Loder opened the store in 1995 when there were a lot of commercial vacancies on Water Street, and a new wave of businesses started moving in.

In the 1990s people started moving away from the malls, Loder said, and wanted to go back downtown, but that has been shifting again.

Closing sale started Wednesday as Ballistic prepares to close in January 2017. (Ted Dillon/CBC)

"People spend a lot more dollars online these days … different mall stores and corporately owned stores," he said.

"So what I'd really like to say to people is get out, support the local economy, locally owned stores, and keep their money here."

Loder — who ran for St. John's city council in 2013 and organized the Harbourage music and arts festival — said he's looking at a few ideas for the future, but has no concrete plans just yet.

Ballistic will remain open for the Christmas season, and will close for good in early January.

With files from the St. John's Morning Show