In 2008, arsonists set ablaze a section of the strip mall at 243 Main St. That included the mom and pop Northborough fixture Brown's TV and Appliance.
It took them more than a year, between rebuilding and dealing with insurance claims, to get back up and running. In the meantime, the economy worsened. And more big box stores etched their way into the strip mall landscape.
After 53 years, probably by the end of January.
"The reason why we are closing is combination of a number of things," said Brown. "We really never recoverd from the fire four years ago. That fire put us out of business for one year and it caused us to go into substantial debt. Then, the economy went down during the year we were closed, and when we came back."
The electronics business, too, has changed a lot since Brown's dad and brother started the store in 1960 as a storefront above Sawyer's Bowladrome. Then, Brown's was primarily a TV store, and later a video rental place. But now, as Brown points out, TV prices went down along with the profit margins. Though the store tried to compete by adding appliances, it was still no match for online sales and huge stores that could take a bigger hit on profits.
"Furniture stores started giving away TVs when you bought a mattress or furniture and the internet stores," said Brown. "Also, the service business went away. Most people will opt to buy another TV rather than repair the old one."
Brown took over as owner of the store in the mid '80s, he said. He's been located at 243 West Main St. for more than 26 years. He attributed the business's survival to a loyal customer base.
But no matter how loyal, Brown's TV joins the many businesses that have said goodbye within the past few years.
Brown counts one of his fondest memories as having a Brown's TV softball team, as well as a video club.
"This business has pretty much been my life for the last 26 years and I am going to miss it," said Brown. I don't know what plans my brother has but with a daughter in college, I will have to find a job most likely in sales. I grew up in Northgate and Northborough has always been good to us. I am going to miss the people I did business with over the years."