Retail’s back and better than ever
The Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce has seen an uptick in retail shops. Currently, there are about 75 businesses within the chamber as a whole, said executive director David Kennedy, with about 60 percent — or 40 businesses — within downtown Patchogue.
With that in mind, Kilwins’ owner John Murray has decided to form a retail committee in an effort to match the success of the restaurant committee and to speak about retailers’ needs.
In addition to retail staples such as Blum’s, The Colony Shop, and Stanley’s Furniture, he said he wants to connect with newer retailers including Paper Doll Curiosity Shoppe, the Cheese Patch and Amazing Olive. “Fifty-somewhat years ago, Patchogue was a retail mecca, and though we aren’t quite what it was, we are now headed in the right direction,” he said.
He hopes the group, which will meet a few times a year starting Sept. 12, will be able to not only act as a support group but also come up with ways to promote the retailers and showcase their strengths.
“Our local retailers know their products and know what they are talking about,” he said. “You just don’t get that customer service at a big-box store or Amazon. I want to feature the knowledge and uniqueness we have here.”
Kennedy said he believes forming the committee is an excellent way of capitalizing on the increase in retail shops. “Besides having a great meal in Patchogue, you can really do some great shopping,” he said. In its heyday in the 1950-1960s, he explained, Patchogue was known as the largest downtown shopping area. “The idea of restaurants in Patchogue was foreign,” he said, laughing.
“I really want to get the word out,” Murray added. “Everyone knows about the theatre and restaurants, but we are becoming nice little retail spot, too.”
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