Downtown not dead

This is to the woman in my store Monday: So you think the downtown is dead?

The woman came in my downtown store looking for a job.

The first words out of her mouth were, “Oh, I thought your store would be bigger.”

She then explained she was looking for a job, but was disappointed in the “dead” appearance of the downtown area. She spoke of how she remembered the downtown as a child.

I stood there thinking just one thought: Don’t you see your attitude as part of the problem?

The woman soon left, seeking employment elsewhere. As soon as she was gone, I thought of several things I should have said, but didn’t. I should have asked the woman where she shops now, or when was the last time she shopped downtown.

I understand nostalgic feelings surrounding good times shopping downtown. I get it.

But none of us have the same shopping habits that we had in the ’60s or ’70s. (If we did, we would still be wearing a lot of fringe). As shopping habits evolve, so do the stores.

This woman must not be aware of the fact that downtown store owners are passionate about providing products and services consumers want for today’s lifestyle. Gone are days of “mom and pop stores.”

These local store owners think globally and can talk knowledgeably about why shopping locally is important for our town’s economy. I guarantee you would not find a more committed and competitive group of business owners.

I hope to someday bump into the woman who came in my store.

Hopefully, she is working in a downtown business, and is too busy to stop for a chat.

Tammy Orthmann, owner of Bath Bliss Gifts
Downtown Hastings



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