Archive for Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Store owners hope construction won’t keep shoppers at bay

July 10, 2007

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Jennifer Wilber, manager at Prairie Pond Studio and Bead Co., 809 Mass., organizes dresses in the shop. The annual sidewalk sale, the largest sale of the year in Downtown Lawrence, is July 19, and merchants are hopeful that summer street construction won't keep shoppers away.

Jennifer Wilber, manager at Prairie Pond Studio and Bead Co., 809 Mass., organizes dresses in the shop. The annual sidewalk sale, the largest sale of the year in Downtown Lawrence, is July 19, and merchants are hopeful that summer street construction won't keep shoppers away.

At last year's Downtown Sidewalk Sale, a person could almost fry an egg on the sidewalk and much of the 800 block of Massachusetts Street was torn up.

Still, shoppers still came in droves.

Construction persists, albeit for two blocks south, and it's too soon to predict the weather. But the sale should still attract crowds of bargain hunters.

"It will be more difficult to get around, but hopefully people will still make it out," said Charlene Schlotzhauer, owner of the Prairie Pond Studio and Bead Co., 809 Mass., and a member of Downtown Lawrence Inc.

The sidewalk sale, which will take place from dawn until dusk on July 19, attracts people from throughout the Midwest. The sale stretches along Massachusetts Street between Sixth and 11th streets.

"Its a real good thing for the businesses and customers," Schlotzhauer said. "There's a lot of people that save money all year just for this sale."

There will be water stations set up along Massachusetts Street, and fans will be placed around many of the sales, Schlotzhauer said.

Mary Cox, owner of Shark's Surf Shop, 813 Mass., and also a member of the DLI board, said it takes several days to get ready for the sidewalk sale. That is why she will suggest that the sidewalk sale be extended to two days instead of one in the next few years.

"It takes a lot of preparation, and there's just not enough time," she said.

Cox said that although the construction last year affected many of the customers, her business still had a very profitable day. This year she also has received several complaints, but she said she does not expect the construction along Massachusetts Street to hamper the sales or the fun.

City Manager Dave Corliss said although construction still is in progress on the west side of Massachusetts Street in the 900 and 1000 blocks, construction crews will not be working on the 19th, and fences will be moved back from the sidewalks to accommodate the increased number of customers.

Comments

irnmadn88 7 years, 9 months ago

I think Mass St. should be closed to vehicle traffic for the Sidewalk Sale. It couls also coincide with a festival of somekind downtown and should last a weekend.

Confrontation 7 years, 9 months ago

Closing the roads would be a good idea, but only if there were trolleys available from distant parking lots. I avoid this sale like the plague. Mass Street is bad enough on a regular business day. Soccer moms, high heat, and credit cards just shouldn't be mixed.

Ralph Reed 7 years, 9 months ago

I remember when the sidewalk bazarr (now the sidewalk sale) lasted from dawn on Thursday until dusk on Saturday. Shop owners used it as an opportunity to clean out inventory and you could get some pretty fantastic deals by Saturday afternoon.

It would cost a lot, but I think it should go back to a three-day event. Even more people could be enticed to come.

Confrontation - I agree with you about the trolleys, but that sounds too much like public transportation and you know how that goes over in Lawrence.

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