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KDS Dance Supplies in Greenfield closing

  • Karen Fritz O’Hare sells Lotus Yu, of Shelburne Falls, a pair of ballet shoes in her Bank Row store. KDS Dance Supplies is closing, but Karen’s Dance Studio will remain in business. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

  • Karen Fritz O’Hare fits Lotus Yu, of Shelburne Falls, with a pair of ballet shoes in her Bank Row store. KDS Dance Supplies is closing, but Karen’s Dance Studio will remain in business. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

  • KDS Dance Supplies is closing on Bank Row in Greenfield, but Karen’s Dance Studio will remain in business. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 1/23/2020 4:59:28 PM

GREENFIELD — The trend toward online shopping has impacted another Greenfield business, this time KDS Dance Supplies.

The business has operated out of the roughly 5,300-square-foot building on Bank Row for 25 years, paired with Karen’s Dance Studio, which opened 31 years ago. Now, owner Karen Fritz O’Hare hopes to sell off her dance supplies by March 1.

Fritz O’Hare cited a downturn in foot traffic due to changing shopping habits, and after a particularly dim holiday season, she said it became apparent that staffing and stocking KDS Dance Supplies was not smart business anymore. She said the other local dance studios are sending their dancers online or to Walmart and Target, adding that it is not easy to fit a ballet shoe properly through online shopping as she sold a pair to Lotus Yu, of Shelburne Falls.

The same trend has impacted other downtown stores, Fritz O’Hare said, as they are losing business to and other national retailers.

Karen’s Dance Studio, however, will remain open. Fritz O’Hare and three other instructors offer classes in ballet, tap, jazz, modern and acro, as well as Zumba and Bollywood classes. The studio’s dancers regularly perform at the Franklin County Fair, the Great Falls Festival and Relay For Life, and win awards at regional competitions.

To sell the last of KDS Dance Supplies’ inventory, Fritz O’Hare said everything is 40 percent off. The store is open Fridays from noon to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“If we have to, we’ll try to do something over school break in February,” she said. “I’d love to have it done by March 1.”

As for what will become of the retail space, Fritz O’Hare said it could be rented out to another retailer or to be used as offices.

“The other possibility that we were looking at is to use it for more dance space, or fitness classes,” she said.

Ultimately, Fritz O’Hare hopes to move Karen’s Dance Studio to another location. The building — which is listed for sale at a price of $499,000 through Colebrook Realty Services Inc., with an option to lease — has been for sale for the last five years.

“I think we’d be better off in a different space,” she said. “The whole flavor of this space has changed.”

She explained that convenient, family-friendly spaces to park were lost on Olive Street with the addition of the parking garage, while the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office took parking on Bank Row. She hopes that the addition of the parking garage and the proximity to the John W. Olver Transit Center will help attract a buyer.

Reach Paul Franz at 413-772-0261, ext. 287 or Shelby Ashline contributed to reporting.

Greenfield Recorder

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