Managers at the 263 Marketplace surprised booth vendors Friday morning with news that the store would be closing at the end of October.
Despite efforts to attract crowds with carnivals and singing competitions, the indoor flea market was unable to remain a viable business for its parent company, Waterloo Gardens.
The landscaping supply and service company turned the former Pathmark into one of its satellite stores in 2007. Waterloo Gardens was hit hard by the economic bust a year later, forcing the company to cease it's retail operations at the Warminster location. Waterloo Gardens is currently in bankruptcy court.
The building was turned into the 263 Marketplace soon after, housing small business vendors like Ivyland Kitchen and Chance of Sprinkles. This year, several businesses opted out of the weekend-only model and moved to new locations in Hatboro. While vendors jumped ship, representatives remained confident that the store would remain operational for a while.
"We are committed to grow the business as long as we can," Waterloo Gardens CFO Jerry Monagle told Patch in August.
With the sudden announcement of the store's closure, vendors such as Mary McAnally of Ivyland Kitchen is scrambling to off load inventory before the end of the month.
"Stop by my store for some great sale prices on kitchen utensils, gadgets, bakeware and more!" she wrote on Warminster Patch's Facebook page. "Please spread the news... I need to get rid of some of my stuff. Just bought more inventory for the holidays, and just found out this morning that we are closing."