Can you believe we are starting a new decade in less than 36 hours? I never much noticed the change of decades until this year, and hoping this decade of 20’s doesn’t mirror the last century’s, what with prohibition and the Great Depression beginning. The only thing cute about that decade were the cute clothes.
End of Year Perspective
Edmond saw numerous changes in 2019. One being the loss of our beloved Mayor Charles Lamb, and then the addition of a new mayor and new city councilmen. This new mix will combine the new mayor’s desire to slow down new development, with the new councilmen being pro development. It will be interesting to see how the balance plays out with all of the now empty retail spaces scattered city wide.
While over 10+ retailers left our Edmond retail space, and numerous chain restaurants disappearing, as well, on the restaurant front, we did see new cafes open like Wicked Hangry, which has the most welcoming decor of many locally owned restaurants I have visited over the last 11 years publishing EdmondActive.
The Mule from the Plaza District took up residence in the middle of Downtown Edmond where The Zu was located, Frenzy Brewing is almost ready to open located where Italian Jims was located just across the street, Chef Black and his wife Lori purchased Cafe Evoke and just redecorated to include all new seating in warm tones and cushioned seating.
All Aboutcha North Edmond also saw a switch in ownership at Covell across from Mitch Park, with a redesign and menu changes.
Eddie’s spun off a new concept for drinks and wings called Hott Wings, located in The Railyard, also housing more food truck brick and mortar setups similar to The Collective in Midtown across from Bleu Garden, with Blue Jay Rolling Grill and Oak City Pizza Co. occupying spaces currently, a new ramen concept and taqueria which are coming.
We also saw Capital’s Ice Cream expanding into Edmond in The Railyard with Cities Ice Cream, to which we featured in the Nov/Dec Issue’s Local Flavor section.
Nashbird will be opening soon at 5th & Littler across the street from the UCO Jazz Lab, to which the chef owned hot chicken joint is phenomenal, also expanding from 9th St. in Automobile Alley to Edmond. Chef Marc is super creative, and used to be the director of the award winning Francis Tuttle Culinary Program. If you support any of the 17 chicken places in Edmond, support this family and chef owned business, you won’t regret it. (Not a sponsored compliment either!).
The perspective with all of this change and the sad blight with empty new development and previously occupied spaces have on us as residents is just this. Our current desire to have immediate satisfaction and have everything now, purported by the onslaught of online shopping and near instant delivery, is not helping our local development.
I understand that people think this problem is squarely the fault of developers or bad planning by the City, however, the one thing that none of these entities can change is our changing purchasing habits.
The Market by Quail Springs Mall just closed December 23, 2019. It was open for 18 years, and offered numerous micro businesses the opportunity to offer unique retail offerings in a vendor mall setting. The vendor’s always had sales, there were always people there, the vendor’s offerings were always unique. But, with the last two years bringing the onslaught of “Influencer” driven online sales that drove and is currently driving away our local retailers.
I saw over 200 people comment at how sad they were, most claiming having not shopped there in over a year. I know it sounds corny, but if you don’t shop at your favorite local retailers, they will not be able to stay in business. Our retailers play a big role in the ambiance and charm of our city, and this problem has nothing to do with free enterprise doing what it does best in regards to “what the market will bear” or “the market is simply correcting itself”. A few retailers just found themselves not fitting into the market any longer, as has happened constantly over time. This shift, however, is being caused by all of our shopping decisions to shop the latest look online, or shopping online where we can have access to almost instant delivery. Every. Single. One. Of. Us. Is. Doing. This.
Seriously, though, I can say, due to an empty nester’s income, I have never been able to afford grocery delivery and have shopped online but with much regret when the items arrived not as promised, causing me to have to go to the post office to make a return. Not worth it.
Here is what I know for a fact after speaking to Anne McCarthy of EmoryAnne Interiors and Botanical Bar. Anne has set prices she has to sell at set by the vendors of the items she carries.
When you think everything is negotiable, it is not most times, however there are some time’s Anne can offer a discount on certain items. She told me a story of a customer who came in to see a buffet, and outright told Anne she could buy the piece cheaper online. What the customer didn’t understand, was the cheaper price didn’t mean anything because it came from the same vendor Anne purchased it from, who in fact wouldn’t allow Anne to offer discounts.
The customer then left the store, tried to buy it “cheaper” online, and was told the vendor was out of stock, bringing the customer back into Anne’s boutique Emory Anne’s Interiors to purchase Anne’s stock and with White Glove Delivery for a nominal price.
I can’t say how much this has bothered me over this holiday season. As we all delight in cheaper and cheaper products and almost instant delivery we are eroding away the confidence of our local retailers who are excited when you shop with them, excited to work 18 hour days to provide you with unique and not so unique items that you may use daily, and excited to go to markets every season spending hours and hours walking and trying to find things we have all claimed to wish were carried locally.
I will do a book review of a book I am currently reading The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future by Shoshana Zuboff.
Take a moment, after having Marie Kondoing your life last year, to really contemplate whether you need all the online goods the new sales girls/influencers are peddling. They get what they are pushing to you for free or at a remarkable discount, you, however, get 10% off so you can be less unique and just like an Insta girl. Read that again. Then let that sink in.
The City is now taking Christmas Trees for mulching to be distributed free at a later date at Mitch Park, so load it up and haul it over, this is a phenomenal program.
The Edmond Ice Rink is open only until Sunday January 5, 2020 at Mitch Park, so get your skating on if you haven’t this season, and if you are a customer of Citizen’s Bank of Edmond, use your debit card and get $2 off each admission!
SHOP EDMOND SALES
Edmond Wine Shop at 15th & Boulevard is having a sale on all Sparkling Wines at 20% off through New Year’s Eve, and don’t forget to check out their vast selection of bubbles for every price range! Open NYE from 9 am to 9 pm and closed on New Year’s Day, by law.
Emory Anne Interiors is offering 60% off all Christmas, and located at 150th & Santa Fe! Closing at 4 pm NYE!
2 Doors Down is continuing their sale of all Christmas, and after New Year’s will offer their 10%, 20% and 30% markdowns! Located on 33rd Street at Bristol Park Boulevard just east of Santa Fe!
Paper Arts, located just west of Downtown Edmond just west of Fretz at 632 W. Edmond Rd, is hosting their Semi Annual Clearance Sale through January 5th! The entire store is 25% off, with some items up to 75% off!
I am going back to cultivating content for the January 2020 issue which I am in current production of, along with taking personal time to clear up and out my personal spaces. It so far has involved my sitting still for four hours catching up on the Star Wars story line so I can go see the new Star Wars movie in the theater and not drive everyone nuts asking about the story line I may or may not have stopped following 7 years ago. Also. Cleared out closets, cleaned carpet, caught up on laundry that backed up during the holidays. And. I finally fixed my website to which was glitchy for the last 5 months.
I am hoping that all of us think about how we see Edmond, how we want it to work for us, and talk about it, with your neighbors, with your favorite retailers, and with City Council. I don’t think any of us were planning on empty retail spaces that span almost entire developed centers, so we must decide wholly to help the matter by communicating, not keeping up with Amazon or your favorite “Influencer”. Who wants to be a follower anyway, right?
I will be back with a new Around Edmond January 6, 2020, and I wish every single one of you a Happy New Year!