Business fell by about 40 percent in 2010, continued to slip in 2011 and has never bounced back, he said.
The shop specializes in imported rugs from Pakistan, India and Afghanistan. An 8-foot-by-10-foot carpet can retail anywhere from $800 to $6,500, Mull said.
“It is sad, but it is what it is,” Mull said Friday while sitting on a stack of rugs inside the 4,600-square-foot store.
Tribal Arts opened its Albuquerque store more than a decade ago and has been in its current location at Louisiana and Paseo del Norte since 2006.
But Mull said he’s actually been in the business for 25 years, having traveled around the state to sell baskets from his native Pakistan as far back as the mid-1980s. That led to a presence at the Tesuque flea market and, ultimately, a retail store in Albuquerque.
“Every year my sales went up until about four years ago,” Mull said. “I should’ve made this decision (to close) a few years ago, but making that decision is the hardest part.”
Tribal Arts is selling off its remaining inventory, a process that Mull said could last a few months.
Mull, who owns the building, said he will look to sell or lease the space.