A landmark retailer in downtown Augusta will close its doors at the end of the year, a casualty of changing consumer behavior and shifting markets.

Stacy’s Hallmark, which has operated on Water Street for nearly 43 years, will close its card, gift and apparel store. Its owners, a father-daughter duo, will relocate to Florida where the daughter, Stacy Gervais, will try her hand at another retail venture – a boutique in the Fort Myers area. Her dad, Richard Cummings, 78, intends to retire.

“We had a showplace,” said Cummings who in 1979 bought the former Kresge building and remodeled it.

The building’s yellow brick facade and art deco sign have been part of the downtown retail landscape since 1932. The building is being bought by Tobias Parkhurst, who owns other property downtown. A closing is scheduled for Jan. 12.

Gervais said she never could have imagined a retail world where people exchange greetings via email, texts and other technology when she assumed management of the store in 1998. Although she expanded inventory to include boutique clothing and fine gifts, it wasn’t enough to lure shoppers back to the downtown. She watched as, one by one, the stores that made up the fabric of downtown retail either closed or moved – five-and-dime stores, jewelers, pharmacies and clothing and shoe stores, including Lamey-Wellehan, which relocated to Western Avenue in 2006.

Parkhurst is considering using the Water Street building for housing – turning the old convention on its head that the most valuable commercial real estate is on the street level for retail and the less-valuable upper floors for housing. Now housing is where the opportunity is.

“Augusta has a housing crisis at all levels,” said Parkhurst. “The housing stock is quite old.”

Still, he intends to keep the first floor as retail, perhaps splitting the space between a restaurant and specialized retail. The upper floor will be rented as apartments.

In the Stacy’s property, Parkhurst said he sees a chance to keep an iconic downtown building occupied.

“Dick and Stacy have done a phenomenal job restoring it. It’s in the best shape of any of the downtown buildings,” he said.