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Boost for Specialty Shops?

Big in the news lately is the “retail apocalypse” that malls are undergoing.  Malls are shutting down as more and more chain stores downsize or file for bankruptcy.  In the past decade, more people are relying on online stores than “physical” stores.  As a result, prices are rising and inventory is decreasing.  Will this cause local specialty shops to thrive?

Brands that can’t adapt to this new era of shopping are quickly filing for bankruptcy.  Countless chain brands are rebranding, partnering with other businesses, and releasing new launches to avoid bankruptcy but to no avail.  For example, Family Dollar sold itself to a larger parent company (Dollar Tree), which will result in the closing of many stores.  Other brands – like Gymboree, Shopko (including Payless ShoeSource), Dressbarn, and Charlotte Russe – are closing all of their stores for good.  Even successful brands like Bath & Body Works are closing many stores across the country.

Clothing stores are heavily targeted by this retail apocalypse.  Macy’s, JCPenney, Sears, Barneys New York, and Nordstrom are all feeling the effects:  Barneys is presently dealing with bankruptcy issues; Macy’s, JCPenney, and Nordstrom, are noticeably downsizing; and Sears is closing 100 locations, including Sears’ Chicago headquarters.

Will this retail apocalypse open people’s eyes to the benefits of specialty shops?

With stores like Bath & Body Works, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Pier 1 Imports announcing closures… we believe specialty shops will receive more business.  Will local home décor & specialty stores like Heart’s Desire, Serendipity, Lost Arts, Nature’s Design by Tiff, & Antiques & Uniques attract even more out-of-town business?

While online clothing stores allow you to shop with ease, you cannot deny the benefit of shopping “in-store”.  The online shopping experience takes away the trying on and fitting of clothing, and you cannot take home the clothes right away; whereas, specialty shops, like The Spotted Owl & Once ‘n Again, allow you to quickly find and try on quality clothes, and they’re just a few minutes away!

Not only are specialty shops convenient, but they’re also cost-effective.  Through sales tax, your money goes back into the town and county’s treasury.  You’re saving yourself a pretty penny and giving back to your community!

Not to mention at a local shop, you will always see a friendly, familiar face on the other side of the counter – not something you can expect from box stores!

We love to hear all of your stories, ideas, and suggestions.  Please share them with us by calling (815) 692-4500 or by emailing fairbury@fairburyILattractions.com.  You can also speak with Bobbi McKeon, the Specialty Shops coordinator, by visiting her at Heart’s Desire on Route 24 in Fairbury.