Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Opening up shop

Happy 2011, shoppers and merchants of Charlotte. We're reviving this blog about retail in and around the city, and we hope you follow us here for store openings and closings, shopping trends, great deals and the chance to rant, rave (or leave insightful commentary) about the business of buying and selling.

This year promises to be an interesting and maybe even pivotal year in the city's retail business landscape, as merchants start poking their heads up like groundhogs in late winter to test whether the economic recovery we've seen hints of will be real and sustained - or a holiday spending blip. A retail revival could lead to increased hiring and portend a more broad-based recovery, but with a gloomy housing market and high unemployment barely budging, nothing is set in stone.

We'll see new local stores opened by ambitious entrepreneurs and national chain stores fighting each other while trying to grab a piece of customers' wallets. North Carolina-based grocery chains Food Lion and Harris Teeter will continue battling Wal-Mart, Target and others in a changing food landscape, and independent retailers will keep struggling to bounce back from some of the toughest years they've ever faced.

We'll strive to bring you ways to save money and show how retailers are coming up with clever new ways to get you to spend more.

I hope you'll send in any tips, thoughts or story ideas. You can always feel free to email me at elyportillo@charlotteobserver.com or call me directly at 704-358-5041.

A brief note on the writer: I cover retail business in and around Charlotte, a beat I took over shortly before Thanksgiving. This is my second year at the Observer; I previously covered crime and public safety. This blog was formerly run by Observer reporter Jen Aronoff; her old posts are still saved here.


Anonymous said...

This is so great! I am very excited to follow this blog.

Thank you for keeping us current,CO!