Local small businesses popping up as big box retailers close doors

BETTENDORF, IOWA  --  Three stores in Davenport's Elmore Marketplace shopping center have closed. Charming Charlie's, Beauty Brands, and Gap Factory all left the shopping center.

This is just five years after a major construction project that brought them in. Small businesses owners in the area say even with box retailers closing, there are still plenty of opportunity in retail.

" I was more nervous to not take the chance," Red's Threads owner Nora Coyne - Logan said. " I'm not trying to be another big box store. I feel like what I bring is different and unique. I know the products, I'm passionate about the products and I am local."

Retail business is changing with the popularity of online shopping growing.

"I'm just not that person that likes to shop online," Rock Island resident Sophia Johnson said. "I know a lot of people like the convince and ease online. I'm sure it's hard for retailers to compete with that convenience. I really liked Charming Charlie`s, so I was really surprised they closed and with just being new to the area."

In 2014, the Elmore Marketplace opened, adding in shops the Quad Cities didn't have.

"I liked having this strip mall over here," Moline resident Becky Natsis said. "I was even more happy when I saw HomeGoods come in. I just found out today that Gap closed and I was really disappointed."

Coyne-Logan says local shops add to the area and help boost the economy, so she isn't worried about retail woes.

"It adds to our community and what we have to offer, so it looks better to people who either want to stay here as a resident, or move here, or come back after college if we have more cool shops and restaurants," Coyne-Logan said.

The developer of Elmore Marketplace says Heart of America plans to fill empty storefronts next year and already have tenants interested.

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