When you live in a small town, seeing downtown shops close, sadly, often seems commonplace. There are some which are there one day and gone the next. Others mysteriously hang on despite their apparent lack of customers and almost non existent store hours. There are shops which sport the "& son" sign appendage suggesting that they are an established local family business. Sometimes there's a date above the entrance....since 1980. This would indicate many years of successful business practices and if you are under the age of twenty, woahhh .They've been around
f-o-r-e-v-e-r, since grandma and grandpa's days. More often than not, there are storefronts with paper covering the glass, closing out sale signs, and for lease opportunities peppered between the ever profitable and successful bank buildings.
Then there are the bigger chain stores....hardware, groceries, office supplies, sundry items. Recently, one of the larger chain stores in our town closed its doors. The Canada wide Zellers stores are no more. Although they were bought out by Target, a U.S. chain, we will not be the recipient of such a store. Our town is too small a market. I happened to be at the right place at the right time on Saturday as I witnessed the end of an era.
The signage is now gone.
Today, I went to another of our chain stores, The Bargain Shop. Once again, I was disappointed to see that the stores will be closing. The entire CHEX news team, well, one young woman (Morganne Campbell) with a small car, a camera and a microphone which she set up herself were in the parking lot reporting on this latest economic casualty.
Apparently, this location will close at the end of May or when they run out of stock...whichever comes first.
So is it a sign of the times, or is it just inevitable growth and change?
It caused me to think back. How many now defunct stores could I recall from my childhood? A few that come to mind were Sayvette, Kresges, Woolworths, Miracle Mart, Towers, Steinbergs, Food City and Kmart Canada.
Who can add to my list?