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SPECIAL COVERAGE: Living With Wildfires: San Diego Firestorm 10 Years Later

Le Travel Store Shuts Its Doors After 37 Years

The owners of the first travel store in the country say the business has drastically changed and they're getting out.

The owners of the first travel store in the country say the business has drastically changed and they're getting out.

Le Travel Store first opened in Pacific Beach in 1976 and eventually moved near Horton Plaza and later, Fourth Street. For owners Bill Keller and his wife, Joan, it was probably a sign of the times when the store's neighbor, the adult F Street Bookstore, closed up shop about a year ago after being in business for more than five decades.

"Well we opened up next door and no problem for us, but we've seen a lot of changes in the neighborhood," Keller said.

The Kellers opened Le Travel Store 37 years ago. It was the first travel store of its kind in the country, offering luggage, maps, books and apparel under one roof. The store even went online in the late '90s and did well until a few years ago.

"So what's happened in our business is Amazon has really taken over, not just selling books, but they're selling a lot of stuff that we sell," Keller said.

Joan Keller said the store has also seen more people "show rooming" or coming in to handle or try on items, then buying them online for less.

"I fear that there won't be businesses like ours for too much longer to show the products," she said.

The couple only planned to be in business for two years and are grateful for such a long run.

The building is currently in escrow and expected to close August 18th.

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