The religious gift shop operated mostly independently of the cathedral. It had its own owners and staff and even paid rent to the cathedral for the space in the basement.
In addition to the economy, the shop was also significantly impacted by its forced closing for six months while emergency repairs were made to the cathedral's roof. It re-opened just in time to feel the brunt of the economic downturn.The store will only be open limited hours and only on weekends through the end of February. After that the owners plan to leave the area in search of a quieter life.
Naturally, merchandise is being discounted to clear out the inventory.