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After 18 Years in Business, Helix is Closing in Downtown Athens, Ga.

Gift shop is another victim of the bad economy, manager says.

A well-loved local business is closing its doors and liquidating its merchandise. , a popular gift shop on Clayton Street, started reducing the price of its items and selling out.

"The first wave of sales is today," said Stephen Owen, who has been the store manager for nine years. Mid-morning, the store was filled with customers offering condolences as they shopped for bargains. Everything is 20 percent off.

"It's the economy," Owen said. "The gift business has taken a hard hit in the recession."

In addition to one-of-a-kind national lines of merchandise, Helix carried local handmade items and tried to support local artists and craftspeople, said Owen. The store carries children's toys and clothes, as well as great cards, kitchen ware, bags, jewelry and many other ecletic things.

"I think everyone will go on to other things, but we're still processing it," Owen said. Owners Ben and Leah Goodwin made the decision to close about a week ago and shared it with the staff. "We wanted to thank everyone for 20 years of support."

The Helix Facebook page carries this message:

All things have a beginning and an end. We are sad to announce that Helix has decided to close our doors for good.

We are so grateful for the support of our customers, employees and friends for the past 18 years. (21 in downtown Athens, if you remember our first store, Spiral, but who's counting?)

We will be having tons of great deals, so come check it out! 20% off all non-sale items starts today!

All sales final.

Linda Labbo July 11, 2012 at 11:07 PM
We'll miss Helix. It was always that special shop where you go could to find the "just right" gift.
Meg Dure July 16, 2012 at 10:42 AM
I was a regular at this wonderful shop for years. I really hate to see it close

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