With Another Big Box Retailer Closing, Massive Stores Have Opportunity For Local Businesses

I'd love to see the old HH Gregg stores and now Orchard Supply stores turned into a Chelsea Market concept.

August 22, 2018

Dreamstime

Another big box retailer is closing it's doors.

Lowes announced today that they will be closing all of their Orchard Supply stores including one in Winter Park and one currently under construction off Colonial at the Fashion Square Mall.

Big box stores are in jeapordy and with more and more massive stores being left vacant, I think it's time we start focusing on the local guys.

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In a place like Orlando, there are few places where local bakers, wood makers, gardeners, etc can really have a stable area to call their "shop."

Most set up tents at farmer's markets and try and make it that way. 

You do have places like East End Market which is ALWAYS packed, (thanks in part to Domu and Gideon's Bakehouse) but it's proof that places like this are wanted in Orlando. 

So why not give it to them?

Take Fashion Square for instance. Orchard Supply was building a brand new location on the old Sears lot and with the announcement that all Orchard supply stores are closing, construction will hault and that store will sit empty.

If developers were smart, they would retrofit these areas with multiple "booths" inside that local vendors could rent out on a monthly to bi-annual basis and have constant traffic, similar to the Chelsea Market or Reading Terminal Market near Philadelphia where local vendors shine.

Here's to hoping these massive stores find new life soon as many of these empty stores cause a ripple effect to nearby businesses.