Monday, December 1, 2014

Shopping District or the Lack Thereof

Was talking with a business owner in Carbondale the other day and it came up that both of us agreed that a major problem that downtown Carbondale has is the lack of a shopping district. Downtown has a pretty good entertainment district, not as lively as it was a decade or so ago when Stix, Gatsbys and Boobys all drew good crowds but still good for a night out, especially if you are a college student or in your 20s.

However, the retail stores are destination stores, great for the store but not so good for the district. People who come to downtown to go to 710 Bookstore or Town Square Market or Carbondale Cycle,or any other place selling products or services  in downtown, only come downtown to visit that store. I go downtown to get apparel from 710, I leave. I go downtown to eat at Harbaugh's Cafe, I leave. I go downtown to get my hair cut at Kampus Kuts, I leave and so forth. There are no clusters of similar businesses. like the antique stores in downtown Cape Girardeau or the gift shops in downtown Arcola to encourage me to move from one store to another to see what each one might have (and keep me in downtown longer to spend even more money).  Another gift/crafter shop opening up to complement Dayshift would certainly be a good start, but I am not sure how to go about encouraging one to move into the downtown area.


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