The recession is not necessarily bad business for every commercial district. We do know that some retailers are benefiting from changing consumer habits. So what is doing well? Dollar Stores, McDonalds, Netflix, CostCo, and Forever 21 all benefit from what retailers call 'trading down.' ["Recession Proof Stores", CNN Money] Probably not what you want to hear if you are working to revitalize and upgrade your commercial district.
But there are ways you can work with the trend. As people watch more movies at home, eat lower cost food and buy in bulk to save cash, take heart in the fact that they are still spending money...just on goods that they percieve are lower priced, and on low-to no-cost entertainment. With a creative commercial distict manager, you can you take advantage of this trend on your corridor. Consider providing low- to no-cost entertainment options during store hours. Consider a 'music day' where you arrange for street musicians to perform in front of select retailers. Or organize your stores in a well publicized sidewalk sales event. This will not only drive retail traffic, but it can also help clear stores of stale inventory. This extra cash can then be funneled back into the business to help the retailer buy merchandise that IS selling. Marketing and promotion, in whatever form, is more critical now than ever.