One of the largest locally owned retail stores in the area is closing its doors, and other local businesses are worried about what that means for the future. Canfield's Sporting Goods announces they will be closing after 71 years in business.
Owner Scott Marble says they adapted to what customers were looking for but it ultimately wasn't enough. He said the online retail market, warmer winters, and losing their distributorship with Boy Scouts of America were the three biggest factors in the decision.
Ellen Scott, one of the founders of Shop Local Omaha says she's saddened to hear that Canfield's will close, but also worried about what that means for other small businesses.
"The online presence of Amazon and all the other online businesses can do all of this what we do so we have to work so much harder to make sure that we can get our customers into our stores. 20-30 years ago that was not a problem at all," Scott explained.
Marble says they lost about 15% of their total sales when Boy Scouts of America discontinued their distributorship in December 2015, which was allowed in the contract.
"The Mid-America Council, Boy Scouts of America and many of its families have had a close, long-standing relationship with Canfield's Sporting Goods. We continually encouraged Scouting families to shop at this store and are saddened to learn of its closing," said Chris Mehaffey, CEO/Scout Executive, Mid-America Council, Boy Scouts of America.
Boy Scouts of America did not address why the distributorship wasn't continued with Canfield's.
Scott says if you enjoy being able to pick things off the shelf, and handle it before you buy it support your local stores or they may be the next to go.
"Pretty soon if everybody is only buying online there won't be more bricks and mortar stores around. there will be no store to go visit and see that merchandise when you buy it, and if consumers don't care then that's one thing but if consumers care they need to patronize local businesses," Scott concluded.
Canfield's will being their liquidation sale on Friday and expect to close for good at the end of January.