South University’s S3 Safe Sex Store to close after 20 years
BethAnn Karmeisool, owner of the S3 Safe Sex Store, located at 1209 S. University Ave., confirmed Wednesday morning that the store will be closing its doors at the end of October.
BethAnn Karmeisool, owner of the S3 Safe Sex Store, said Wednesday the store will close its doors at the end of October.
She said her decision to close the storefront, located on South University Avenue, is a result of her building being sold and the recent decline of in-store sales.
“My building has been sold and I don’t know the future of the building,” Karmeisool said. “I don’t know exactly, but the rumors are the building is going to be knocked down for a larger project to go up much like Landmark.”
The owner said she thinks sales have declined in recent months due to increased competition and popularity of online retailers, such as Amazon Prime.
While physical sales have decreased, Karmeisool said the need for the community outreach services she offers, such as free HIV testing and individual counseling, have increased.
“I think (the closing) is going to have a large impact on the community because of all of the services we do provide,” she said. “People in the community are going to have to go elsewhere for that, and many do not have transportation options.”
Karmeisool stressed that while she close the physical storefront, S3 is not going out of business.
She is going to maintain S3’s online store, which is currently running in tandem with the storefront location. She plans to update the store’s website to include a blog stocked with sexual health information.
“That telephone number will be linked directly to me, so if any student needs someone to talk to, and they don’t have that outlet, I will still be available to them as much as possible,” Karmeisool said.
The owner also ensured she will remain involved with the University through outreach programs, as a visiting lecturer at the School of Public Policy and through hosting sexual health workshops.
“I plan on quarterly workshops where people can get their sexual health questions asked, learn about new things going on with sexual health at large and also get free HIV testing,” she said.