Retail

A flood of bankruptcies could sink more boats

Spurred by housing sector woes and the ensuing credit crunch, bankruptcies around Richmond are spiking to the highest levels in a decade. Most filers in the area are individuals who can no longer tap equity in their homes to pay off credit cards. But the enormous rise in bankruptcies is also spilling over to the… Read more »

Scooting up the sales

Scoot Richmond, a scooter/moped dealer on Richmond’s Southside, sold 64 scooters in June. That’s 28% higher than May, and off the charts compared to the previous year. There are also some rumors circulating that developers on the Southside are considering adding mopeds as an apartment amenity, and allowing any resident to borrow them. More on… Read more »

Ellwood Thompson’s Wants Shoppers to Go Green

Ellwood Thompson’s, the Carytown market known for organics, is giving 25 cents to anyone who walks, bikes, scoots, or rides the bus to the store. Calling it Envirocredit, if you can get to the Carytown store through some form of low-petroleum transportation, mention it to the cashier. They will deduct 25 cents from your purchase… Read more »

Shockoe Bottom-ing out?

In 2004 Richmond’s historic Shockoe Bottom was devastated by Hurricane Gaston. Drainage systems malfunctioned and overflowed, and floodwater ran freely through the streets causing extensive damage to businesses. Four years later, the area is showing a few signs of recovery, but the vacancy rate hovers above 20%. Turnover in restaurants and bars is high.

A Tale of Two Broad Streets

The farther east you walk down Broad Street and away from VCU, the more beat up and empty it gets. There are “For Sale” signs, “For Lease” signs, and signs simply marked “Closed.” Some buildings are boarded up with plywood, others with construction paper and tape. And that’s a significant improvement from even a few… Read more »

Slinging Bling: Car accessory shops diversify

A young man no more than 14 greets customers at the Williams Plaza and Auto Center on Richmond’s South Side. He sizes up one customer’s car, and by association its driver. So does everyone else at the combination workshop / parking lot. “What do you need?” he asks. But then he finds out the driver… Read more »

Same Box, Same Price, Less Food

The boxes, cartons and cans at the grocery stores are getting smaller – although you have to look really carefully to notice. As reported by MSNBC, manufacturers have begun “short-sizing” their products. The practice consists of cutting down the amount of stuff they put into their packages in order to keep costs down. In the… Read more »

Does Carytown have a vacancy problem?

Heading east along Carytown, for every 10 to 15 occupied buildings there’s a vacant one with a placard inviting you to call a commercial real estate broker. Richmond BizSense did an unofficial count of the store fronts in Carytown: 142 occupied buildings, 22 vacant buildings. That makes for a total of 164 buildings, 22 of… Read more »

Warning to would-be robbers

A Newport News store owner went all Wild-West – sleeping inside his store with a loaded pistol and lying in wait for thieves to try and rob him again. The Daily Press reports that Thompson’s long nights paid off. “I got my pistol and told him to go to the ground,” said Thompson, owner of… Read more »