Liquidation

While I’ve been preoccupied with the off-blog obligations of teaching and grading, there’s been a mini-exodus of stores from downtown Keene, winter being the slow season for retail business.

Remember the boutique whose window I showed you smashed and then repaired? They’re now closed, having liquidated much of their inventory in order to move their brick-and-mortar business online, leaving an empty shell in the place of their once-colorful window display.

Empty

After some 40 years of business, Paulsen’s Bookland has similarly pulled up stakes, closing stores both here in Keene and in Concord, NH. It’s difficult to maintain a small, family-run bookstore with heavy competition from online and Big Box retailers; truth be told, I never bought anything at Bookland, disappointed that it stocked more magazines than books.

Closed

Although I as much as anyone agree with the downtown merchants’ slogan that “It’s Keene to Shop Locally,” I don’t buy many magazines, and I don’t frequent upscale boutiques: my business isn’t the kind either of these stores tried (unsuccessfully, apparently) to court. Still, the sight of empty shop windows is a sad one, something that makes me wish I were a more Conspicuous Consumer whose wallet could keep Ma and Pa in business. Instead, I tend toward frugality, tending to the off-blog obligations of teaching and grading, walking the dog, and taking pictures: activities that do little, unfortunately, to fuel the local economy.