October 2, 2019 | View PDF
Although Sidney’s businesses have faced the challenge of having a couple of larger stores close their doors in the last few years, at least some store owners note that the area is experiencing an uptick.
“It seems like our community has done an excellent job of bouncing back to a degree,” Bill Vander Weele, executive director of the Sidney Area Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture, said. “It certainly did hurt losing the Shopko stores, but some of Sidney’s stores have stepped up and expanded their lines at the request of their customers. Some shoppers have taken a new look of what Sidney has to offer, and they are surprised and impressed.”
Vander Weele said that the increased amount of boutiques in town along with the great selection that established stores offer has made Sidney a great shopping stop.
“We have no complaints,” Dana Moos, co-owner of Party Central, said of business. “Our problem is trying to keep up with everything sometimes.”
Moos said her store on East Main Street has enjoyed its best summer in years.
“We’ve had a lot of weddings,” Moos said. “We couldn’t even take a break and go on vacation this summer.”
She feels that the closures of the JC Penney and Shopko stores have led shoppers into looking at other local options.
“We’ve seen people that we haven’t seen in years,” Moos said. “They are like ‘Wow’ when they come into the store. People are exploring Sidney again.”
Billie Hillesland, co-owner of Meraki Boutique, said business has been very good since the store opened on S. Central Avenue in May.
“The sales are pretty consistent all week long,” Hillesland said. “And we’re still seeing a lot of new faces.”
She noted her clients come from not only Richland County but also Williston, Culbertson, Glendive and Plentywood. Lately, shoppers have included individuals from out of state that are here for seasonal jobs.
“They are saying the prices are right, they aren’t excessive,” Hillesland said. “They’re excited about our children’s store coming up.”
Phil Johnson, co-owner of Johnson Hardware and Furniture, said business has been on an upswing in 2019.
“The economy is definitely improved right now over the past several years,” Johnson said.
Renee Torgerson, manager of J’z Fashion Threadz, also believes sales have improved during the year.
“I think it has been better,” Torgerson said.