Where are all the stores going?

Jordyn Wilkins, Reporter

Have you noticed multiple of LC Valley’s stores are being closed down? It’s hard to miss. In the past couple months, multiple stores such as Macy’s, Kmart, Shopko, Rue21, Sears and Payless have announced the closure of their stores, and a few have already gone out of business.
Many residents are worried that Lewiston won’t have the business it needs to support the town in the near future.
There have been growing concerns that the LC Valley is turning into a ghost town with all the closures. It’s hard for small businesses to compete with online stores such as Amazon that has all of our needs, even groceries, delivered right to our doors.
LC student and community member, Sammi Grant, expressed her concerns.
“I have lived in the valley my whole life, and I’m concerned that it’s turning into a ghost town. With so many stores closing, we need to open up more, so community members have a variety of places to shop so that we keep business in the Valley.”
There has been talk about new businesses opening such as Target and Hobby Lobby, but with little detail and no announcements of this, it’s hard to know if this is the truth.
Past Kmart employee and student Hunter Liedkie shared some reasons why Kmart closed its doors, “They didn’t give much reason as to why to us, but we went through a bankruptcy and then got bought out, so ultimately I don’t think Kmart could keep up with the new developments in our culture especially the online aspects.” This is a strategy to salvage the brand.
Online shopping has become a huge thing in the country. It’s convenient because you don’t even have to leave your house and can find anything you want online.
It is also delivered to your door, so you don’t have to go through the hassle of finding it at a store or having to pick it up from anywhere. It is also easier to sell things at deep discounts when you cut out the middle man, such as cashiers and store overhead.
This method of shopping has taken over and has played a huge role in store closures all over America. Hannah Gibbs, a community member, said, “It’s convenient. With a busy work schedule, I don’t have time to go out and shop, and I can order from stores we don’t get the opportunity to have in the Valley. I love online shopping.”
Some people do find it more beneficial, and it’s their way of getting products and clothing easily.
Though it is a great method, Liedkie expressed his concerns about it affecting small community businesses,
“With not many businesses to shop at for clothes, there is going to be a lot more people who end up ordering online or traveling out of town to shop at larger stores. This will most likely start to hurt our small community businesses, which need all the support they can get right now.”
Not only does online shopping affect our businesses, but it impacts our environment as well, leaving a huge carbon footprint from air freight.
Though it may be hard to find local businesses that carry the products you want, it is important to support the local small businesses because without our community support they will not stay open for long.
The LC Valley isn’t the only place being affected by the closure of stores. Many big store chains in the U.S. have announced their closures such as Forever 21 and even stores such as Victoria’s Secret, JCPenney, Bed Bath and Beyond and Walmart have made declarations of closing some of their stores throughout the country.
An easy way to support your small-town businesses and keep them open is to consider shopping there instead of ordering and shopping small business Saturday when you get the chance to.
The little things matter to these small businesses, and they need your help and support to keep them from closing.