Dealing With 'Poor' Shopping Opportunities

Dealing With 'Poor' Shopping Opportunities

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People like shopping. Right now 'tis the season. But in St. Lawrence County, people say it's getting more and more difficult to find what you want.

“It's important to me, I'm a small business owner, to shop local. But I'm finding it more and more impossible to shop local because I just couldn't find what I need,” said Christal Niles of Massena.

A lot of people agree with that. In a recent survey, almost two-thirds of respondents rated St. Lawrence County shopping opportunities as 'poor.'

“We could use more stores here in Massena. More stores, more restaurants, different varieties. We could definitely use more here,” said Jennifer Northrop, Massena resident.

People in St. Lawrence County rate shopping opportunities worse than energy costs, local government and even taxes.

Respondents rated shopping opportunities as poor more often than any other item in the survey. Many blame the big job losses the area has suffered and the Amazon effect.

“The economy is not great. So people don't have a lot of money to spend on brand names and they can price shop online very quickly,” said Niles.

Some people think the days of big box or department stores moving to the county may be over. But they have a solution.

“I think the main focus, what we really have to focus on in St. Lawrence County, is revitalizing the downtowns,” said 
Nance Arquiett, owner 2 Mama Birds boutique. 

In the meantime, local retailers are working hard to get people in that holiday spirit.

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