Durham loses two retail touchstones, Chapel Hill loses one, and shopping just got a little less exci

UPDATE: Hours after The Saunders Report initially published this story, we learned that a longtime and beloved Chapel Hill store, Southern Season, is shutting its downs for good.

By a show of hands, who else feels sad every time you see a business going belly-up, especially one right in your neighborhood?

As someone who's had two businesses go kaput - remember the late, lamented Richmond County North Star newspaper? - I know that a "Going out of business" sign usually signals the demise of someone's dream. I find myself thinking "Gee, if only I'd bought more fish sammitches or gin-and-tonics or pickled pigs' feet from them, they'd have stayed open."

It's hard to do that when it's a furniture store, especially a high-end one, or a store that sells everything from giant copper frogs to genuine monks' robes and nuns' habits.

See, unlike with fish sandwiches, pigs' feet or gin, for which you can always make more room, with furniture and copper frogs - once you've got enough, you've got enough.

Durham recently lost Riverview Galleries Fine Furniture and Interiors, and by the end of the year it will lose Native Threads, which is - some might say literally - giving up the ghost at the end of the year. (I'll explain in a minute.)

While driving down Roxboro Street in Durham one recent Saturday, I saw a bunch of brightly colored signs along the road: Riverview was going out of business.