Posted on


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, The Village Council approved the funding and the proposal from Epic Management, Inc., to move forward with the Hudson Street parking garage. This will provide additional parking in the Central Business District for shoppers, diners, commuters, and employees.


Posted on

The fall of retailers means doomsday for malls


By Jonathon Trugman

May 14, 2017 | 2:12am

American retail culture may well have reached a tipping point.

Major department stores are floundering about like fish in a rapidly draining pond after reporting dreadful earnings last week.

The time-honored multigenerational giants like Macy’s, Sears and JCPenney are all looking at a dramatically different future.

Macy’s stock collapsed 17 percent after Thursday’s first-quarter report. And high-end retail behemoths like Nordstrom are getting clobbered, too. Shares of that politically petulant retailer fell 11 percent Thursday on news of its first-quarter results.

Better take a good look, because this may be last call for the mall.

Posted on

Obamanomics : Shoppers may be losing their holiday spirit

Holiday Spirit


Could Americans be losing their holiday spending spirit? More than 20 years of retail sales data suggest it’s a distinct possibility.

U.S. retailers have come to rely on a shopping frenzy toward the end of the year, as the annual gift-giving season compels people to open their wallets. That holiday bump, though, appears to be shrinking.

Last year, December’s share of annual retail sales (excluding gasoline) amounted to 9.9 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That compares with a high point of 10.6 percent in 1993 — a difference worth more than $30 billion. Although the holiday boost tends to fluctuate with economic cycles, the trend is down. Here’s how that looks:

What’s going on? Black Friday could be partly responsible, if retailers have pulled some of the holiday action into November with deep discounts and special opening hours. However, that particular shopping event is on the wane. And even combining sales for November and December doesn’t do much to change the long-term trend.

Another potential explanation is that the kinds of items people buy around the holidays — Xboxes, iPads and the like — have become relatively cheap, because of the efforts of Chinese manufacturers. This would make the dollar value of December’s spending look smaller, even if people were purchasing just as many items. That said, prices on imports from China are higher than they were a decade ago, so maybe not.

There’s also a more troubling possibility: Declining incomes may have left a large portion of Americans less willing to splurge. The median U.S. household income has fallen more than 3 percent over the past decade in inflation-adjusted terms. December’s share of spending tends to suffer when budgets are tighter, as evidenced by the sharp drop during the 2008 recession.

Posted on

Ridgewood Mayor Aronsohn : not “whether” to build a parking deck or even “where” to build it; rather, the questions are “what size” and at “what cost.”

parking cbd

“see those empty spaces  thats where the  new Parking Garage is going to go ,bigger is better”

Time to build a parking deck

NOVEMBER 27, 2015    LAST UPDATED: FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2015, 12:31 AM

‘Time to build a parking deck’

To the Editor:

On Nov. 3, Ridgewood residents voted in support of the financing and construction of a parking deck on the Hudson Street lot. Although the referendum was “non-binding,” the message from the 3,236 residents who voted in favor of the parking deck – a full 65 percent of the vote — was loud and clear: After decades of discussion, it is time to act. It is time to build a parking deck.

Therefore, the questions now before the Village Council are not “whether” to build a parking deck or even “where” to build it; rather, the questions are “what size” and at “what cost.”

So, on Dec. 2, the Village Council will take up these two questions and decide on “what size” and at “what cost.” Then, a week later, on Dec. 9, I plan to introduce a bond ordinance that corresponds with those decisions and moves this process forward.

To facilitate these decisions, our design team has put together three options – at different sizes and at different costs — and although the referendum allowed “up to $15 million in public funds” to be expended, each of the options comes with a considerably lower price tag. (Please visit the Village Hall lobby and Village website for pictures and relevant information.)

Our design team will be on hand at the Dec. 2 meeting to outline the three options – pros and cons – and take questions from the council. We are also making special arrangements to allow members of the public to ask questions of the design team, too.

I encourage all residents to let us know their thoughts about “size” and “cost” – either by email or by showing up at the Dec. 2 meeting. We are at a critical, albeit exciting juncture in this process, and we want all residents to be a part of it.

Thank you.

Mayor Paul Aronsohn

Village of Ridgewood

Posted on

Shoppers can support Ridgewood Art Institute


NOVEMBER 20, 2015    LAST UPDATED: FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2015, 12:31 AM

The Ridgewood Art Institute Annual Holiday Show and Sale features more than 150 pieces of beautiful artwork. This year there is also a Small Works Fundraising Exhibit with 80 pieces priced at $150 with all proceeds to benefit RAI. The opening reception is being held on Sunday, Nov. 22 from 1 to 4 p.m.

It’s a wonderful exhibit to visit and these one-of-a-kind paintings can prove to be a unique holiday gift as well.

“It’s one of the most exciting shows of the year” said RAI instructor Laura Paray. Oils, watercolors, pastel and drawings are on exhibit and painted by members of the Institute. Members were invited to enter two original works to be exhibited in this festive holiday setting.

New England’s beautiful scenery was a favorite for the “Barn” artists with Charles Brandenburg’s watercolor, “Gloucester Fog,” and Edward Galenkamp’s “Inner Harbor – Nantucket.”

Posted on

Sidewalk sale comes up big for Ridgewood stores, shoppers

AUGUST 14, 2015    LAST UPDATED: FRIDAY, AUGUST 14, 2015, 12:31 AM

The response from downtown retailers and patrons makes it clear: last week’s Summer Sidewalk Sale was a success.

The sale, which took place on Aug. 6 through 8, involved Ridgewood Chamber of Commerce businesses, which set up their wares outside in the sunshine. This helped to draw in customers, as passersby browsed a store’s merchandise without actually entering the storefront.

“People who don’t normally go to your store will pass by, see merchandise out [on the sidewalk], buy stuff and come in and take a look at what you have,” said Victor Idy, owner of Victor’s clothing store. “You make a lot of customers that way. It softens up your store; it makes it more appealing to customers who might not have come in to come in.”

In addition to drawing new customers, the sidewalk sale attracts new visitors to downtown Ridgewood, noted Walter Boyer, co-owner of Bookends.

“I think what it does is it increases foot traffic to our town, which is obviously very important,” he said. “I think a lot of shoppers from neighboring towns come here, so we get a lot of exposure from not just Ridgewood residents, but from other neighboring towns who come to these types of events.”