After Decades, Virginia Beach Key Shop Locks Its Doors

July 31--VIRGINIA BEACH -- So much depends on a key.

If you have one, you get in the door. The safe opens. The car starts.

If you don't, you're locked out. Stuck. Grounded.

Now, the doors are locked at the key shop on the parking lot outside Sears at Pembroke Mall, and the business is closed.

It specialized in hard-to-find key duplication for nearly 50 years.

Nothing will be able to match it, longtime customer Donnie Jackson said.

"Keys to my vehicles, keys to my trailers -- I always went there."

He stopped by the kiosk off Independence Boulevard on Tuesday for extra house keys.

"For the past week or two, they've just been letting the inventory sell out," Jackson said.

He doesn't want to copy keys at the big-box hardware stores. "They've got these automated machines now; they don't even need a person," he said.

Sears Holdings confirmed the closing Wednesday. Things Remembered, which owns the key shop, a licensed business of Sears, declined to comment.

"You've got to be kidding me," customer Joyce Witt said Wednesday morning. "So what am I going to do when I need keys?"

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