Businesses open and businesses close. It’s a fact of life in a large and growing city like Woodbury. But there is no doubt media, be it local, regional or national, has heightened its sensitivity to business closings in the wake of a national economy that has taken a tumble over the last few years. So when is a business closing news for the Bulletin?
It’s hard to say. The first thing we are looking for with any story possibility is the "so what?" factor. Why is this of interest to readers?
In the last week, we heard news that Expressly Yours, Woodbury’s "first coffee shop," and Top Shelf Athletics, one of the few remaining specialty sports stores in town, will both be closing at the end of the month.
When small, independently-owned businesses hit the skids, we feel readers should know. Not just because they close shop, but because we believe that "so what?" factor is in play.
Other recent local business closings such as Sonnie’s and WineStyles are on our radar as news as well, because of their visibility and the potential for providing an example of a trend that may be taking place across our community – many small businesses are finding it difficult to make ends meet during trickle-down economic hardship.
But we don’t forget about the larger presence left by the recent departures of big box stores like Sportsmen’s Warehouse, Office Depot and WorldMarket. We have seen, via the Woodbury Bulletin’s website statistics, that readers want to know more about those business closings as well.
Writing "business obits" is definitely not my favorite thing about being a journalist. But it is important, because of the simple fact that where we shop is also part of our community.