Apr 29, 2009
Buffalo’s Mom and Pop Shops Skirt Sour EconomyBy Joyce KryszakPublicBroadcasting.net

Buffalo, NY — The Elmwood Village Association is tackling the economic downturn with a promotion to boost sales during two peak shopping times – Mothers’ Day and Fathers’ Day weeks. But promoters say business for Buffalo’s Mom and Pop shops actually is doing pretty good already.

“Love Your Mom and Pop.” The promotion name has a nice friendly, home town ring to it. Justin Azzarella is executive director of the Association. He said they hatched the marketing scheme, which is a partnership with Buffalo First, during one of their regular meetings. Shop owners in the Elmwood business district are offering some nice discounts during the weeks of May 1-10 and June 12-21.

But Azzarella said the really exciting thing about this promotion is that it is merely a boost for shop owners – not a desperate attempt to attract business. Surprisingly, he said Buffalo’s Mom and Pop shops are not being hit very hard by the bad economy.

That’s especially good to hear as news that large retailers are either closing or scaling back hits closer and closer to home. This week it was announced that 14 area shopping plazas are up for sale. Azzarella said it is proof that bigger is not always better.

And sometimes really, really small can be even better. Carol Wannamacher is an Elmwood Village artisan who doesn’t even have a store front.

The Lexington Avenue resident manufacturers her Crowbiz gift products in her factory on the third floor of her home. She sells the handcrafted, unique items over the web and from craft tables around town. And not just a few here and there mind you. Wannamacher said economic crisis? What economic crisis? She said business did not even slow down after the holidays.

She said it is a good problem to have. And it is not purely by accident. Wannamacher said the personal approach to sales is effective. And she knows her market. She sells high demand gift items that are reasonably priced.

Read complete article.

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