Unicef Stores in the U.S.: Going, Going, Gone?

When I’ve describe my house, I often say that it looks like a Unicef store without the price tags. If you’ve ever been to a Unicef store, you’ll know what I mean. They are filled with high quality crafts from around the world and the profits go towards Unicef’s humanitarian projects. Or perhaps, I should say, the stores were filled with quality crafts.

I’m not saying that all the craft items in my house are high quality, but they are from all over the place and if we sold some of it, it would be hard to tell what’s missing. What is missing is a number of Unicef stores. I’m hoping it’s not all of them.

Unicef stores are having a hard time making ends meet. I just found out that the Unicef store in Sacremento, California closed a few months ago because the greeting cards sold there weren’t the new stock. It has something to do with a Hallmark cards taking the card production over. This article explains it. According to the article, other Unicef stores in the United States have closed also because people aren’t as drawn into the stores without the cards.

Darn it. I looked at the Web site for Old Town in Albuquerque, New Mexico to see if the Unicef store I used to go to is still there and I didn’t see it in the list of merchants. I loved that store. It was intimate and gathered much of the world on its shelves.

It’s too bad Unicef stores might not exist any more. They have that feeling about them that if you shop there, you are doing good. You can still buy Unicef cards year round at Pier One and 100% of the card sales go to Unicef, but still, shopping at Pier One does not feel the same.