Brattleboro, VT

Vermont to Lose 91-Year-Old Retail Store as Owner Blames Sales Tax

Ash Jurberg

Historic Vermont Store Bids Farewell After Serving the Community for Nearly a Century

Disappointing news for the community of Brattleboro, Vermont, with iconic local business Sam's Outdoor Outfitters to close after 91 years of operation.

The business first opened in 1932 and called itself the "The Biggest Little Store in the World." The store has been owned and operated by three generations of the same family, but current owner Brad Borofsky has decided to close the store.

With a lot of thought and with huge regret, we have decided that we must close the Brattleboro store...We’re planning on starting the store closing sale very soon. We’re hoping to liquidate as much merchandise as possible by early spring" Brad Borofsky

The business also has stores just across the border in New Hampshire as well as one in Massachusetts, and Borofsky blames the high sales tax in Vermont for the store's closure. While shoppers at the Vermiotn store pay a city and state sales tax of 7% across the river in New Hampshire, customers don't need to pay any.

"The sales tax has been eroding the whole retail industry on this side of the river for years. I don’t think stores that sell hard goods will ever be reestablished here in a big way unless somebody does something about it." Brad Borofsky

One person who has fond memories of the store is former Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin.

"For Brattleboro, losing Sam’s is like New York losing Macy’s. Something always replaces everything. That’s the beauty of life. But I won’t be able to walk past whatever is there without feeling a huge sense of loss. It’s just devastating."

Your thoughts

Are you disappointed by this news? Do you believe the sales tax should be cut in Vermont? Are you worried about the number of local businesses closing across the United States?

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