In the aftermath of the 2008 economic crisis, it was re-branded as ‘The Travel Store of Santa Barbara’ to better reflect the local origins of the company. Simultaneously, a joint venture was opened at the SBA airport gift shop and a local souvenir company was acquired to offer more local products. Even as consumer purchase behavior changed over time, we placed more emphasis on unique ‘touch’ items such as luggage and travel clothing. This was to counter the increasing competition from the internet and electronic formats for travel books and maps. In addition, we encouraged local customers to price-compare in order to earn their business, no matter what.
Alas, our downtown store customer count deteriorated significantly as locals increasingly appear to be choosing online shopping over local Santa Barbara retail. At the end, we decided to close our doors on June 30. Liquidation of inventory will start the week of June 10th with discounts of 25-75% on all items, no exceptions. Customers are encouraged to come in soonest for the best selection of fine travel gear, including backpacks, luggage, clothing, books, maps, accessories, binoculars, headphones, globes, magnifiers and more.
We enjoyed 29 years of success in Santa Barbara and sincerely thank our longtime well-wishers! In an effort to resolve any outstanding issues – compliments or complaints – customers may contact the owner Jan Koch at 310 809 8473.