You are reading

‘Inside Astoria’ Gift and Accessory Store Set To Close After 15-Year-Run

Inside Astoria, located at 28-07 Ditmars Blvd., will close on April 30 (Photo: Inside Astoria Facebook)

March 9, 2021 By Michael Dorgan

A locally-owned gift and accessory store in Astoria will shutter permanently next month after a 15-year run.

Inside Astoria, known for selling Astoria branded merchandise, locally made knick-knacks, artwork and jewelry will close on April 30, the owners announced last week.

Andrew Purdom, who co-owns Inside Astoria, located at 28-07 Ditmars Blvd., made the announcement on March 3 via a sign he put up on the front of the store. He then posted the news to the company’s Facebook and Instagram pages on March 5.

“To say goodbye feels bittersweet, and to do so as Covid goes on brings extra feelings to the surface,” the post reads.

“But, we want to emphasize that it has been a wonderful experience getting to know YOU: friends, neighbors, community, and emphatic supporters of small business. We are grateful, and from all of us, THANK YOU.⁣”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Inside Astoria (@insideastoria)

The company’s inability to compete with big chain retailers and online giants like Amazon – which was exacerbated by the pandemic – ultimately led to their decision to close, Purdom told the Queens Post. Purdom owns the store with his life partner.

“The retail world has changed due to online business. We tried online for the first three or four years but people are used to the Amazon model of quick deliveries and if you’re not doing business like Amazon, you can’t compete,” he said.

He said that since many of their products are made locally by small businesses and artists, it takes a considerable amount of time to order and restock those items. He said that online customers are not interested in waiting weeks to receive purchases so the business has focused entirely on in-store sales.

Purdom, 52, said that competition from other businesses including big chains like T.J. Maxx – which opened a store about a block away on 31st Street in 2019 – put an extra strain on his business.

He said that T.J. Maxx offers similar products to Inside Astoria like home accessories, home décor, baby gifts, coffee books and candles.

The pandemic, however, was the final nail in the coffin for the business.

Purdom said the business was forced to close for more than three months last year – due to the initial lockdown – and it was never able to recoup the loss of earnings.

Inside Astoria was hamstrung since it was not set up for e-commerce. He noted that bars and restaurants, also devastated by COVID lockdowns, could at least bring in revenue via takeout and delivery services.

“If I were 20 years younger I would power through and try and use social media more or find a way to do e-commerce,” he said.

“I’ve been in this industry since 1992 so I’m looking forward to doing something completely different.”

He said that his partner has a good job and they have an investment property upstate that has been doing well as an Airbnb during the pandemic.

“We are moving on, we had a good run.”

Inside Astoria is now selling off all of its stock at discounted prices, Purdom said.

email the author:

One Comment

Click for Comments 
Joann Ianniello

Good luck and God bless you for the 15 years you have been part of our neighborhood.


Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

FDNY prevents disaster in East Elmhurst by seizing 68 illegally stored propane tanks

For the second time in four months, FDNY fire inspectors averted a potential catastrophe in East Elmhurst after finding stockpiles of illegally stored propane tanks in the residential neighborhood.

Fire inspectors from the Special Investigation Unit received a complaint of illegal occupancy at a home just south of LaGuardia Airport at 23-57 89th St. They discovered 68 propane cylinders, which they seized along with five food trucks and a box truck parked on the property last week. The inspectors also found illegal single-room-occupancy in the home’s cellar.

Crunching the Queens crime numbers: grand larcenies down across borough, rapes halved in the north, robberies decrease in the south

Apr. 17, 2024 By Ethan Marshall

The number of grand larcenies across Queens was down during the 28-day period from March 18 to April 14, compared to the same period of time last year, according to the latest crime stats released by the NYPD Monday. At the same time, rapes and robberies decreased significantly in northern and southern Queens, respectively.