Creative Kidstuff to close all 6 Twin Cities stores

The company has gone into liquidation.
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Creative Kidstuff is going out of business, announcing that it will be closing all six of its Twin Cities stores.

The Twin Cities toy retailer says that its stores will close June 30, with a liquidation sale beginning Wednesday.

The company has been in business for 37 years, opening its first store on Upton Avenue South in Linden Hills in 1982 under the ownership of Cynthia Gerdes, who is also the co-owner of Hell's Kitchen.

Its other stores are in the Edina Galleria, the Shops at West End in St. Louis Park, the Mall of America, Grand Avenue in St. Paul, and the Ridgedale Center in Minnetonka.

Gerdes sold Creative Kidstuff to Regis founder Myron Kunin, who the Star Tribune reports then sold it to his son Tim Kunin – owner of Seattle company Greater Good – in 2013.  

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"Our mission has always been making play joyful, educational, creative, and inspiring. It’s been our pleasure to be part of such a fundamental experience for all families," said CEO Roberta Bonoff in a statement.

The company has sought to offer an alternative to big box toy retailers, though Twin Cities Business notes that it focused on non-battery toys that offered "quality, imaginative play."

But it's a challenging retail environment for toys thanks to the rise of online shopping, which contributed to the demise of another major retailer, Toys "R" Us, last year.

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