Harrisonburg Crossing Means Harrisonburg Closings

By: Jarrod Aldom
By: Jarrod Aldom

Everyone's excited about the new stores coming into Harrisonburg Crossing, but WHSV found out there may be a downside to all these super stores moving in.

Robert Gery has operated Bob's Pet Shop for the last eight years. But he's closing up shop because of the increased competition of Petco.

"The new store came in and that dropped sales," says Gery. "Also the economy was sluggish. And when you get a new store in and it's built fancy and stuff like that, everybody flocks to them."

The Animal House behind the mall is closing its doors for the same reason. Gery says it's difficult for mom and pop stores to compete.

"You get a lot of those superstores in and stuff and it's tough to compete with the buying power that they got," says Gery. "You look at all stores nationwide and then you got mail order also, so you're fighting them too."

And other kinds of businesses like hardware stores have been impacted by the openings as well. Pee Wee Litten says he heard some stores lost 20 to 30 percent of business when Home Depot came to their cities.

"They've hurt us some," says Pee Wee Litten, Manager at Rocking R Hardware. "Anybody that sells a garden hose or a hammer, it took a sale away from some other hardware store in our area and percentage wise says some of that was us. We're fairly happy with what we're doing and holding our own."

Litten says having been in the area for a long time helps.

"We've been in the are for over 50 years so we have a lot of loyal customers, says Litten. "And also we have niches. We have stuff that home depot don't have and they have stuff that we don't have."

Stores we talked to are afraid if all the smaller stores go out of business, prices for those goods will skyrocket.


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