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Reader says ,”It’s not a Ridgewood thing that we no longer have a downtown of butcher, bakers, and candlestick makers”


It’s not a Ridgewood thing that we no longer have a downtown of butcher, bakers, and candlestick makers. Brick and mortar retail, anywhere, has been dying for years and is now dying at a very rapid rate. Next to wind things up are the banks, closely followed by pharmacies. This might not seem like much of a big deal to most, but these banks pump in a lot in the ways of rents, taxes, employment, and just a physical presence. What we are left with are the service businesses (hair/nail, cafes, & restaurants). The profit margins on these places is razor thin and it’s why they turn over frequently.

No amount of increased parking is going to change anything.

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New Jersey State Police Dish Out a Hefty Serving of Tips for a Safe Thanksgiving and Post Holiday Weekend


file photo by Boyd Loving

The 2017 Thanksgiving holiday period begins on Wednesday, November 22, at 6:00 p.m. and ends on Monday, November 27 at 6:00 a.m.

November 25,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

West Trenton NJ,  Millions of Americans will hit the road today and battle the holiday traffic on one of the busiest travel days of the year. At the end of the journey awaits a freshly carved turkey and all of the fixings, but you have to get there first. A few preparations and a little bit of planning could be all the difference between a hot plate of turkey or a cold sandwich. Motorists can increase travel safety by following these tips:
· Fill up your gas tank
· Check fluids (including windshield washer fluid and antifreeze)
· Check tire pressure
· Bring a mobile phone charger
· Carry a flashlight with new batteries
· Bring bottles of water and nonperishable snacks
· Don’t drive drowsy. Symptoms of driving tired are similar to those of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Use service areas to rest, stretch your legs, or grab a cup a coffee
· Let someone know your travel plans
· Check the weather forecast and plan accordingly
· Plan to leave yourself more time to get where you are going
During the 2016 Thanksgiving holiday period, there were six fatal crashes that resulted in seven deaths on New Jersey roadways. Drug or alcohol impairment was found to be a contributing factor in two of the crashes. These types of tragedies can be easily avoided by having a designated driver, using a taxi or transportation application such as Uber or Lyft, or making plans to stay with friends or family.
The New Jersey State Police will have more than 130 additional troopers statewide during the holiday period in addition to normal patrols. Troopers will focus their efforts on speeding, aggressive driving, seatbelt usage, cell phone violations, distracted driving, and DWI.
“We are doing our part by having extra troopers on patrol to help keep our roads safe, but we cannot do it alone,” said Colonel Patrick Callahan, Acting Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “Getting behind the wheel while impaired is like playing Russian roulette with not only your life, but the lives of your passengers and innocent motorists. So please don’t drink and drive and have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.”

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Up to 25% of U.S. shopping malls may close in the next five years, report says

Westfield Garden State Plaza

by Makeda Easter

Between 20% and 25% of the nation’s shopping malls will close in the next five years, according to a new report from Credit Suisse that predicts e-commerce will continue to pull shoppers away from bricks-and-mortar retailers.

For many, the Wall Street firm’s finding may come as no surprise. Long-standing retailers are dying off as shoppers’ habits shift online. Credit Suisse expects apparel sales to represent 35% of all e-commerce by 2030, up from 17% today.

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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.

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Reader says The reality is that there really is a declining shopping-in-Ridgewood demand


It simply won’t work due to parking psychology. The target market for the people who are supposedly in need of extra arking places are the shoppers and diners. These people simply won’t use a parking facility of this kind. First we have the shoppers. The reality is that there really is a declining shopping-in-Ridgewood demand. It’s not a Ridgewood thing but a national thing where people are changing their shopping habits, moving more and more to online, and when they do go brick and mortar, it’s big box places. As for diners, yes, there will always be the dining crowd, however, they will simply go to a different town to eat if they can’t find street, and more importantly, free parking.

This garage will be the equivalent of the Simpson’s monorail.

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Some Readers Still Believe a super majority of your neighbors and out of town shoppers/diners would say Parking is the biggest problem in the Ridgewood

Ridegwood parking Town  garage 12:10 5 24 2016

We should probably all accept that our form of government allows a small minority to rule the day. Whether you’re for or against parking that’s what essentially happened twice with four years in between events. Lost in these small minorities exerting their will is the fact that we cannot make progress on parking; an issue that, like it or not, a super majority of your neighbors and out of town shoppers/diners would say is the biggest problem in the CBD. So we fight over specific solutions.

Anyone that’s been here more than a week and a half laughed out loud when someone recently had the genius idea to build parking at the Town Garage site. Why? Because 10 or so years ago, we went through this same process with a design, bonding, etc. for a garage there. What happened? A small group of people objected and the project was killed. Fortunately our spasm this year happened before we bonded so we don’t need to service debt that won’t be used. Anyone care to go back into the meeting minutes to see if someone suggested Hudson Street as a better alternative then? Round and round we go.

So we may seem to be left with glacial progress on big issues. But maybe not. Let’s have the argument once and be done with it: let’s form a Charter Commission to review the town charter. Maybe we need a ward system, allowable under the terms of our charter, to ensure single issue (again, for or against, no difference here) council-people from one section of the village don’t rule the day. Perhaps a different charter altogether is in order. But something needs to change or we’ll find ourselves with a different kind of village leadership: leadership that wears black robes and doesn’t ever need a single vote for re-election. It’s already begun.


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Readers Says We Should Put Down Our Phones and Enjoy the Village of Ridgewood

Village of Ridgewood

We need more than ever to put down our phones and Pokeman duties to take a walk up our commercial Zone and support our neighbors and their businesses for this event. These are real family businesses and some newer stores and services who voted with their bank accounts and invested in us.
We are all Ridgewood Citizens, so park the car far away,take a nice walk and enjoy a bargain new outfit accessory service offering or a meal ,,snack coffee , ice cream or fudge and bring the kids and a neighbor.lets show our commitment to supporting and buying local.

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No one is talking about a major reason that people aren’t shopping for clothes in stores


Mallory Schlossberg

Feb. 28, 2016, 9:01 PM

Department stores and specialty retailers have faced declining sales recently, with brands from Macy’s to Gap closing stores.

Many people are pinning the apparel industry’s recent struggles on unseasonably warm weather, which could discourage the purchase of winter clothing.

But there might be another problem that few people are addressing: consumer boredom.

“Today’s retailers face a tsunami of problems but none, in my opinion is more deadly than the pandemic of sheer consumer boredom that shoppers are being subjected to,” retail expert Doug Stephens writes on his blog, The Retail Prophet. “Most retail is just painfully boring. In fact, the majority of store chains, malls and shopping centers have become beacons of boredom, monuments to mediocrity and havens of ho hum.”

Stephens gives an example of a category buyer at Macy’s who is guided by the obvious: sales. If a product won’t sell in droves, then it’s not worth putting it on the shelves, he says.

“And it is for that one single reason — anticipated square foot sales volume — that a plethora of unique, fun, fashionable and fascinating products will likely never see the light of day on the sales floor,” he writes. “Now, repeat the Macy’s buyer mandate across the thousands and thousands of retail buyers, each of whom follow the same essential rule, and soon every store in the mall begins to look the same. Every mall looks vaguely like the next. And voila…mass boredom!”

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Reader says why pay to park in Ridgewood when I can Park for Free in Other Towns ?


I go to Glen Rock to eat, get a haircut, etc., I park, I pay nothing. I go to Midland Park to the hardware store or the shoe repair shop or others or to eat, I park, I pay nothing. I go to Wyckoff to shop or eat or go to the bakery, I park, I pay nothing. I go to Allendale to shop or eat, I park, I pay nothing. I go to Hawthorne for whatever (including, most often, the movie theater, but also restaurants and shops), I park, I pay nothing, and I don’t worry that the meter will expire before the movie is over, because there isn’t one. I go to Waldwick to the hardware store or to shop or eat, I park, I pay nothing. I go to Ramsey to shop or eat or go to the movies (two different ones), I park, I pay nothing, ditto re: worrying about meter expiring because there isn’t one. That’s not to mention free parking at Route 17 stores, strip malls, and bigger malls, and we won’t even mention the internet (can’t eat lunch or get a haircut there).

What is wrong with this picture? Ridgewood, my own town, is not so special that it’s worth paying so much to park and (more important) looking at my watch and worrying about risking a ticket, which we’ve been assured will soon be increased in price and monitored intensely.

Just no. Sorry. I am frankly embarrassed by this entire thing. We don’t need a garage and we are already paying too much to park. Entire project was a waste of time and resources and will only get worse. Even more distressing is that it’s not going to work. Could end up ripping the whole thing out just as the one-lane underpass road/suicide bike lane will eventually be replaced by the two lanes we had before.

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Malls reach a crossroads


MAY 10, 2015    LAST UPDATED: SUNDAY, MAY 10, 2015, 10:47 AM

Sixty years ago, when the first malls arrived here, they changed the landscape of North Jersey, replacing celery fields and woodlands with stores, food courts and parking lots. Now, new forces are at work altering the terrain of traditional suburban shopping centers.

The industry group International Council of Shopping Centers says America’s malls are undergoing the biggest transformation in their six-decade history. Next week, the council will unveil an initiative to examine and redefine the mall as developers, shopping center owners and the retail real estate industry gather in Las Vegas for their annual convention. The council will look at eight groundbreaking ideas, including using parts of shopping centers as distribution sites for filling online orders, as well as ways to bring residential, hotel and office uses into the mall.

“This is an industry that is constantly evolving,” said ICSC spokesman Jesse Tron. The shopping centers that will thrive in the future are those that are “willing to push the envelope to try what’s new,” he said.

As the industry grapples with change, two North Jersey malls find themselves at a crossroads, and the choices they make will affect their development for years.