DECLINE WORRIES THRIFT SHOPS; RESEDA MERCHANTS FEAR IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT WON'T HELP.Byline: Enrique Rivero Daily News Staff Writer
Business has been tough of late for some thrift shops thrift shop
A shop that sells used articles, especially clothing, as to benefit a charitable organization. at Reseda Boulevard and Sherman Way, and the people who run them are worried they may go out of business before planned improvements to the area are complete.
Some merchants and customers say they've seen a steady erosion in foot traffic along the otherwise busy intersection since the 1994 Northridge Earthquake The Northridge earthquake occurred on January 17, 1994 at 4:31 AM Pacific Standard Time in the city of Los Angeles, California. The earthquake had a "strong" moment magnitude of 6. that devastated dev·as·tate
tr.v. dev·as·tat·ed, dev·as·tat·ing, dev·as·tates
1. To lay waste; destroy.
2. To overwhelm; confound; stun: was devastated by the rude remark. much of the San Fernando Valley San Fernando Valley
Valley, southern California, U.S. Northwest of central Los Angeles, the valley is bounded by the San Gabriel, Santa Susana, and Santa Monica mountains and the Simi Hills. . Other merchants say that business is not that bad but still believe that things could be much better for such a busy area.
Though city and local chamber of commerce officials say there are plenty of projects in place to improve the region, some thrift shop merchants are meeting informally Monday morning to see if they can do more to bring in business.
Meeting organizer Nancy Reisner, manager of Aunt Fannie's Attic - a thrift shop at 7131 Reseda Blvd. run by the nonprofit National Asthma Center - said that business had dropped by about 50 percent in the years since the quake.
She thinks the booming economy is partly to blame for the decline of business at her store, which has been in the neighborhood more than 20 years and moved from directly across the street to its present location about 18 months ago.
More people are working, and the neighborhood mothers who used to stop by after dropping their children off at school in the morning now go straight to work instead. Also, people have more money to burn at the big shopping centers and more expensive retailers, she said.
``I'd like to try to get feedback on why we think there's a decline in business and what, if anything, we can do to improve business - or if this is just a sign that it's not going to happen,'' Reisner said.
And she thinks that the recently approved Reseda Business Improvement District won't help because it's mostly about improving the area's physical appearance - a criticism that local officials dispute.
``I don't think it's going to do anything to create more business in the neighborhood,'' Reisner said.
Reisner's store isn't the only one suffering. The Council Thrift Shops outlet at 18511 Sherman Way is the weakest of the six stores operated by the Los Angeles-based National Council of Jewish Women The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is an American Jewish volunteer organization founded in 1893, with 90,000 members, supporters and volunteers. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW works to improve the quality of life for women, children, and families, and to ensure individual , said Renee Hilton, director of thrift shops and special sales for the organization.
``We're part of the neighborhood, and we want to be part of the improvement of the neighborhood,'' Hilton said. ``I don't know Don't know (DK, DKed)
"Don't know the trade." A Street expression used whenever one party lacks knowledge of a trade or receives conflicting instructions from the other party. about our future there, either. I certainly would like to be part of any effort to improve the area and the neighborhood.''
Jane Merkin mer·kin
A pubic wig for women.
[Alteration of obsolete malkin, lower-class woman, mop, from Middle English, from Malkin, diminutive of the personal name Matilda.] , manager of the Goodwill Industries of Southern California Southern California, also colloquially known as SoCal, is the southern portion of the U.S. state of California. Centered on the cities of Los Angeles and San Diego, Southern California is home to nearly 24 million people and is the nation's second most populated region, shop across Reseda from Aunt Fannie's Attic, said her store opened in April and hasn't been there long enough to have experienced a dip.
But she's heard plenty of complaints from other merchants about the decline - enough so that she plans to be at Monday's meeting.
``We're doing OK, but I'm concerned that all these other thrift store merchants are seeing this downward trend,'' Merkin said. ``I want to know how to circumvent it.''
Some local officials, however, say there are already plenty of projects under way that will improve the area's business - which they say is already robust.
According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. Ann Kinzle, executive director of the 235-member Reseda Chamber of Commerce, foot traffic has remained at the same levels as it was before the earthquake.
Still, she said projects like the Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. Neighborhood Initiative are sure to boost pedestrian traffic and bring new businesses into what she calls ``Reseda Village.''
For example, under the initiative some 300 new trees will be planted along Reseda Boulevard and Sherman Way, and the new streetlights, bus benches, walkways, traffic signals and crosswalks it will bring will make the area a more inviting place for both merchants and customers, she said.
All this is expected to start in about a month, Kinzle said.
``There's so much happening here, and foot traffic is going to increase tenfold tenfold
1. having ten times as many or as much
2. composed of ten parts
by ten times as many or as much
Adj. 1. ,'' Kinzle said. ``It's going to make such a difference to the Village - that's what we're calling it, Reseda Village.''
Steve Aufhauser, president of the Reseda Business Improvement District, said the district's recently approved assessment - and the $478 per business per year fee - will pay for maintenance, marketing and security.
The marketing component, for example, will involve outreach that will help merchants better conduct their business and bring in customers, and lure big businesses that will in turn benefit the small operations.
``Larger businesses will help smaller businesses,'' he said. ``People will have additional reason to come to Reseda and not just come to the anchor store anchor store
A large store, such as a department store or supermarket, that is prominently located in a shopping mall to attract customers who are then expected to patronize the other shops in the mall. , but stay and patronize pa·tron·ize
tr.v. pa·tron·ized, pa·tron·iz·ing, pa·tron·iz·es
1. To act as a patron to; support or sponsor.
2. To go to as a customer, especially on a regular basis.
3. the smaller businesses.''
Beyond that, however, he said some of the thrift shops are eyesores and should blame themselves for not pulling in the customers.
``Some of the secondhand shops and businesses there, I don't want to walk into them,'' Aufhauser said. ``I don't know what these people are doing to bring in business, but to blame it on the community and not look at themselves does the community a disservice dis·ser·vice
A harmful action; an injury.
a harmful action
Noun 1. .''
PHOTO (Color) Gladis Barrera is manager of Council Thrift Shops, one of several secondhand stores near Sherman Way and Reseda Boulevard.
Charlotte Schmid-Maybach/Daily News
MAP: Reseda area thrifts