Sara´s London Shop, a popular perfume store in downtown Tijuana that once attracted tourists from around the world, has closed its doors after 70 years in business.
The store, at the corner of Avenida Revolución and Calle Tercera, opened for business in 1944 and drew thousands of customers during the heyday of Tijuana tourism. It once sold over 200 brands of fine imported perfumes at duty-free prices.
"This perfume shop has captured the atmosphere and elegance of the Champs Elysée of Paris," said a description of Sara's on the website of Ceturmex, a group promoting Tijuana tourism. "It is acclaimed by thousands of Europeans and Americans as the twin of Parisian perfume shops."
Sara's managed to survive events that devastated many other Avenida Revolución businesses following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the U.S., including a new requirement that visitors returning to the U.S. from Mexico have a passport and traffic jams at the border that have discouraged visits to Tijuana.
But it was increasing costs of doing business, along with new, complicated tax laws imposed by the federal government, and an increase in the sales tax to 16% effective January 1, that finally did in the business, according to the daily newspaper El Sol de Tijuana.