While there continues to be good news on the main streets of Mid-Shore towns as a new generation of entrepreneurs open up new retail stores, there remains a significant problem in finding tenants to fill the increasing number of large commercial spaces in the over 10,000 square feet range.
In Easton alone, these large empty stores, from the old Safeway on Harrison, the former Earth Origins on Marlboro, and the News Center in Talbottown, remain a major reminder to the community that it has a long way to go before town leaders can say things have returned to “normal” in their retail sector.
That is one reason to look with hope at Bountiful’s recent move to its new location at Goldsbrough and Route 50.
With almost 20,000 square feet to fill, Bouniful’s owner Jamie Merida has taken a calculated risk that his customer base will actually grow in this new location, which has quickly become a new gateway into Easton thanks to the stunning new Community School building addition.
Believing that retail shopping must be an experience in itself, Jamie not only refurbished the Ceder Glass Company building into a brilliant open space showroom. He also convinced his friends at Turnbridge Point Bakery to join him in the new location so customers could enjoy fresh pastries and coffee as they walk through a delightful maze of home furnishings.
The Spy sat down with Jamie last week to hear first hand how he decided to purchase the property, his views on the retail industry, and a word of warning to landlords that they must reduce their rents to ensure success for new tenants to fill these big holes.
This video is approximately six minutes in length. For more information about Bountiful please go here.