Store expands out, shifts down

BAR HARBOR — The patio garden shop at Window Panes home furnishings store on Main Street is gone, and the upstairs retail space will be going soon.

Owners Greg and Julie Veilleux are enlarging the downstairs interior space by building an addition where the patio has been. They also will consolidate all of the merchandise on one floor.

Julie Veilleux said the garden space was useable for only four and a half months of the year.

“It required a great deal of energy setting it up, running it all summer and dealing with heavy rain, wind and things getting wet and dirty,” she said. “Structurally, it was at the point where we either needed to rebuild it or enclose it and have more space for the store all year.

“We’re not yet exactly sure what type of product we will have out there. We have a lot of moveable racks, and I’m sure we will be moving things around until it’s just right.”

The Veilleuxs opened Window Panes 20 years ago. For most of that time, a portion of the second floor has been retail space. But now, the couple plans not only to close that space, but to remove the staircase.

“We will have a much better way to merchandise our table linens; we do a big business with that,” Julie Veilleux said. “And Greg and I will take the entire upstairs as our living space in the summer.”

Greg Veilleux said that a majority of customers were either unaware that there was merchandise upstairs, or for some other reason, never made it up there.

“Second-floor retail is a tough sell at best,” he said. “We have done the best we could with it, but we’re really looking forward to having it all on one level.”

He said security was another factor in that decision.

“We didn’t want to have cameras up there spying on people, but we have found we are being shoplifted,” he said. “We’re not immune to it.”

The Window Panes building was constructed in the 1930s. It was owned for many years by Julie Veilleux’s uncle. Her mother, Suzanne Fitzgerald, opened a housewares store called Pomme de Terre there in the 1970s.

“As stewards of this building, it’s on our backs to do the best we can for it,” Greg Veilleux said.

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]
Dick Broom

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