Goore’s, named by our book as one of the “Top 19 Best Baby Stores in America,” is closing at the end of this year. The official announcement will come today.

Based in Sacramento, Goore’s started in 1992 by Ken and April Goore. Reach by phone today, Ken told BABY BARGAINS that competition from the internet has made it impossible to maintain the retail store. “My model of a big baby retail store just doesn’t work in today’s environment,” Ken told us, adding that many customers are opting to purchase online. Even though Goore’s also operates a large online store, Ken said he is shuttering both the retail store and online site.

Sales should start immediately and Goore’s plans to honor all special orders placed before the announcement. The store may stay open until December or January to finish the liquidation.

Goore’s recently moved to a new, smaller location in Sacramento, but Goore said the move didn’t hurt or help the business.The new store was 20,000 square feet compared to the 32,000 sq foot location.

The brutal recession in California no doubt is part to blame for Goore’s demise. The current unemployment rate in Sacramento county is 12.4%. Sacramento ‘s housing market is in free fall, with 40% of homeowners underwater on their mortgages, reported KXTV-Sacramento last week.

That said, Goore’s is just the latest casualty in the battle between indie baby stores and chains stores like Buy Buy Baby and internet sellers. Lullaby Lane, a store that started in 1947 in San Francisco, closed earlier this year amid similar woes. And in Fort Lauderdale, FL, long-time baby gear seller Baby Love closed its doors after Buy Buy Baby opened nearby.

Is there a future for independent juvenile stores? If you prefer to shop at or Amazon, is there a place left in the market for brick and mortar baby gear retailers? Sound off in the comments below.