The American Booksellers Association followed up its story about independent retailers in Portland, Maine, and their buy-local campaign — which was covered yesterday in Retail Strategies — with a story about the independent retailers of Forest Park, Ill., and how they have succeeded in attracting more shoppers.
Even though Forest Park became a haven for independents, shoppers didn´t know about it, wrote David Grogan of the American Booksellers Association in a story published yesterday on the association´s Web site.
So, according to Grogan´s story, two local business owners founded the Madison Street Merchants Association, to "pool their resources and promote the area through advertisements in newspapers such as the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Magazine."
The result, Augie Aleksy told Grogan, has been an increase in the number of shoppers in Forest Park. This, in turn, is attracting new independents to the area. Aleksy owns Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore, which he moved from Oak Park, Ill., to Forest Park in 2000.
The Forest Park strategy undoubtedly could work quite well for other areas long on independents and short on shoppers.
United we stand and all that.