has been a staple in Lynbrook since the 1930s. The Atlantic Avenue store's unique inventory makes it the perfect stop for last minute gifting needs. Bill Gaylor has owned the Hallmark Gold Crown store since 1987. As President of the Lynbrook Chamber of Commerce, Gaylor is a strong presence within the village’s business community. Here, he explains what makes his shop stand apart.
What year were you founded?
I’m not sure. But I will tell you this - I have been able to prove, because I have a book that was given to me by one of my customers, that we have been in existence since 1932. We could have been in existence before that, but the village historian has no pictures of my side of the street that go back prior to 1932.
What type of items do you sell?
We have been a Hallmark Gold Crown store for 68 years. We sell greeting cards. We also sell normal and expensive giftware. That’s what makes us a little bit unique. There are no Hallmark stores in existence today that are allowed to carry Swarovski Crystal and Lladro figurines. Those two accounts are never in Hallmark stores. We carry a complete line of [those items], plus Waterford Crystal and Godiva chocolate. We have a complete line of giftware, from the least expensive to the most expensive.
How has the business changed over the years?
The younger generation utilizes texting and emails. The older generation is still into connecting through cards. I see this as an evolving thing. Hallmark surveys indicate that the younger generation is interested in staying connected with their family and people they love. There seems to be a slight resurgence in the emotional characteristics of cards.
Business is not what it used to be. The economy is not what it used to be. The fine gifts that I have been selling for so many years are not selling as well as they used to. But, I’m not quite sure what business is doing better than it used to.
What do you think makes your business successful?
My store is a destination store. In a mall store, customers walk in and out. They are mostly transient. I am a local business that’s been here forever. I contribute a huge amount of money to this community and every church, temple, Little League, and youth organization. No one comes into my store and leaves without whatever I can provide them ... I have customers who have been coming to me for as long as I’ve owned the store. When you shop with me, you’re shopping with friends. You get good customer service and have people who appreciate your business.
What is your busiest time of year?
The busiest season is Christmas. The busiest day is the day before Valentine’s Day. That’s when the men wake up and say ‘Uh oh. It’s Valentines Day!’
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