As a result of ever-changing consumer trends, the popularity of online shopping and projects such as the Big Dig, local brick and mortar businesses continuously face unfavourable conditions. Within the past year or so, Kingstonians have bid a fond farewell to names big and small, from Target to Dover’s and Spin!, while we’ve also eagerly welcomed newcomers such as Lee Valley Tools, Mandarin, The Small Batch Cafe & Eatery and more! The untimely demise of any business is something we truly lament, however the flip side is that these closures also open the door to boundless opportunities. With the right idea, executed at the right time in the right place, success may be within reach.
When you take a step back to survey newly established businesses as well as those who appear on the horizon, a few discernible trends emerge. Kingston’s crowded sushi market has gained yet another competitor, which makes me wonder if we will ever see the an end to this saturated segment. Starbucks’ reduced footprint downtown was enough to convince south-western Ontario’s popular roaster, Balzacs, to take a shot at the twin-tailed siren’s former storefront at Sydenham and Princess. Crave Cafe’s three year teaser campaign may finally be reaching the end of the line, as this coffee shop actually look like they’re ready(ish) to open in the midst of the Big Dig. Don Cherry’s power play on Williamsville’s main street is in full swing, while big renos continue out at the Gardiner’s Road RioCan in preparation for the arrival of Bed Bath and Beyond. With these new additions and future opportunities in mind, this week’s poll asks:
Which new/future business in Kingston are you most excited about?
- Toast & Jam (44%, 249 Votes)
- Juniper Café (18%, 102 Votes)
- Balzac's Coffee Roasters (16%, 89 Votes)
- Bed Bath and Beyond (12%, 69 Votes)
- Don Cherry's Sports Grill (3%, 19 Votes)
- Planet Fitness (3%, 18 Votes)
- Crave Coffee House & Bakery (2%, 11 Votes)
- Beer Store at King's Crossing (1%, 7 Votes)
- Iguana Restaurant and Oyster Bar (1%, 4 Votes)
Total Voters: 568
Recent poll results suggest that Kingstonians are split regarding a proposal that could eventually see a second Walmart plunked down near King’s Crossing at Division and the 401. While the project has yet to be approved, the mere possibility of “Walmart East” has many of us talking about the potential impact such a store could have on the city’s economy and business landscape. It would inevitably create jobs, albeit low paying, potentially bring more people to King’s Crossing, and shorten the distance some travel to get to the current west-end location. Conversely, more people frequenting Walmart translates into less business for others, and that is cause for concern when we’re talking about the impact on small, locally owned establishments. The silver lining is that save for Bed Bath and Beyond, none of the new or future businesses included in this forecast are in direct competition with Walmart. Nevertheless, the spin off effect, for better or worse, is something we may be faced with if this project ever sees the light of day.
Which new business in this roundup are you most excited about, and why? Which ones do you predict will be duds?