Albany retailers do what they can in uncertain times - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Albany retailers do what they can in uncertain times

By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

January 12, 2009

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Retail sales continue to slip across the country, leading to many store closures, and Albany is no exception.

In the last few weeks, one major retailer, Goody's, closed up shop. But suprisingly, most developers we spoke to say despite slow retail sales, their tenants remain optimistic, and remain in business.

All alone, no other stores in sight. Yet customers still find their way to A&K Fashions.  "We're so excited about being in a new location," said Manager Evelyn Jenkins.

It seems as though A&K may be an anomaly in time of a retail stupor. Rather than sales slowing down for the clothing and wig boutique... they have steady business.  "We have new customers and we have our same clientele and they have followed us over here and it's just been so great,"Jenkins said.

But that can't be said of all retail stores in Albany. Goody's recently closed. Not long before, Rugged Warehouse shut down. The developer of this shopping center says those closings weren't major surprises, but that other retailers are doing well, and haven't asked for reduced rent, or to renegotiate the terms of their lease. 

"I try to shop smartly, wisely," said Customer Geri Carpenter. Carpenter doesn't shop just anywhere these days. She chooses where she spends her money based on the quality of both the product and the service. 

"It's a pleasant, warm, environment. The prices are great and I just believe that you pay for quality."

While Jenkins believes business will only improve when other retailers set up shop around her, for now, "business is great."

Property managers at the Albany Mall say while the stores located there aren't immune to the recession, they are doing okay, and the mall maintains a stable base of retailers.

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