Retail Woes? A look into the 2018 tri-county economy

The Gander Mountain in Watertown was slated to remain open after another company acquired it, but remains closed.

[Read more…]

July 2016: DBAs

DBA (doing business under an assumed name) certificates filed at the Jefferson County Clerk’s June 1 office  to June 30, 2016

June 30:

Emelia Kennedy Clothing Boutique, 20515 Weaver Road, Watertown, Kirsten Colburn, 20515 Weaver Road, Watertown.

June 29:

Ineffable Deal, 464 Bugbee Drive, Watertown, Derek Thompson, 464 Bugbee Drive, Watertown.

Espinoza’s Yard Care, 123 Chestnut St., Watertown, Roman R. Espinoza, 123 Chestnut St., Watertown.

June 28:

Cooperative Real Estate North Country Specialists, 24685 State Route 37, Watertown, Jason G. Smith, 25683 Beckwith Road, Evans Mills.

June 24:

RPM Landscaping and General Maintenance, 110 Haley St., Watertown. Ryan Patrick L’Huillier, 110 Haley St., Watertown.

D.J. and Sons Trucking and Excavating, 28219 County Route 55, Fox Road, Watertown, Donald F. Jewett, 28219 County Route 55, Fox Road, Watertown.

June 23:

Chop Shop Auto Repair and Salvage, 787 Pearl St., Watertown, Andrew W. Farr, 27634 State Route 283, Lot 51, Black River.

Pat’s Handyman Service, 1087 E. Joseph St., P.O. Box 396, Cape Vincent, Patrick J. Lawrence, 1087 E. Joseph St., Cape Vincent.

Beep Trucking, 661 Factory St., Apt. 3, Watertown, Elaine Dorn, 667 Fairbanks St., Watertown, Brett Murdock, 667 Fairbanks St., Watertown.

June 22:

Live Love Lula Roe with Katie Lane, 677 Cayuga Ave., Watertown, Katherine E. Lane, 677 Cayuga Ave., Watertown.

June 21:

Upstate Enterprises, 9999 Nash Road, Mannsville, Caleb Alfred Tifft, 9999 Nash Road, Mannsville.

Country Roads Creative Content Solutions, 9730 Lawrence Road, Adams, Kathleen Rose Montgomery, 9730 Lawrence Road, Adams.

Laura Greene Consulting, 16427 Butler Drive, Sackets Harbor, Laura Greene, 16427 Butler Drive, Sackets Harbor.

Michael’s Property Services, 21965 Holcomb St., Watertown, Michael F. Jeschawitz, 21965 Holcomb St., Watertown.

BHR Racing, 11269 Bishop Street Road, Adams, Brian Hudson, 11269 Bishop Street Road, Adams.

June 20:

B-Hat’s Curry House, 1222 Arsenal St., Suite 14, Watertown, Prabin Rana Bhat, 21820 Heather Acres Drive, #1D, Watertown.

June 17:

Friends of Farm, 26327 State Route 283, Watertown, Dina L. Kelly, 26327 State Route 283, Watertown.

J B Farms, 9033 State Route 12E, Chaumont, Justin Marshall Bourquin, 9033 State Route 12E, Chaumont.

Collectors Paradise, 1015 Water St., Watertown, Jade Paul Coman, 12 James St., Apt. B, Pulaski.

June 16:

Above All Services, 221 Academy St., Watertown, Teresa Anne Clobridge, 221 Academy St., Watertown.

Walker PMC, 120 Pine Drive, Black River, Michael Christopher Walker, 120 Pine Drive, Black River.

June 15:

River Paws, 42781 State Route 12, Alexandria Bay, Michelle Kristin Steward, 41101 Smithering Heights, Clayton.

12 Smiles Photography, 9065 B Bassett St., Fort Drum, Natalie Marie Rodriguez, 9065B Bassett St., Fort Drum.

VIP Cigars, 20360 Derouin Drive, Sackets Harbor, Richard Francis Martin, 20360 Derouin Drive, Sackets Harbor.

June 14:

Underground Ink, 141 JB Wise Place, Watertown, Darrell Ernest Gardner, 532 Stone St., Watertown.

Let’s Bounce, 9910 Route 12E, Chaumont, Sheri Jo Robinson, 9910 Route 12E, Chaumont.

Sonny’s Landscaping, 25625 Industrial Blvd., Pamelia, Joseph Pickering, 17 Ferry St., Hudson Falls.

June 13:

Woodys Hobby Farm, 10629 Cobbville Road, Adams, Jason M. Woodworth, 10629 Cobbville Road, Adams.

Lake Country Property Services, 42626 Cullen Camp Road, Redwood, Zachary A. Cullen, 42626 Cullen Camp Road, Redwood.

June 10:

Battlewolf Tactical Systems, 190 Stone St., Apt. 1, Watertown, Larry Allen Holly, 190 Stone St., Apt. 1, Watertown.

Old 34, 34897 County Route 28, Philadelphia, Hendrik William Vandervegt, 625 Seneca St., P.O. Box 294, Watertown.

June 9:

Luckies Professional Landscaping & Demolition Service, 12059 County Route 125, Chaumont, Lawren Michelle Luartes, 12059 County Route 125, Chaumont.

June 8:

Wellesley Hotel Restaurant, 42809 St. Lawrence Ave., TI Park, Sandy M. Jeffries, 84 N. Crossman St., P.O. Box 452, Alex Bay.

June 7:

Thai Cuisine Restaurant, 26390 State Route 11, Building A, Evans Mills, Saengdao Boonsom, 112 Leray St., Black River.

June 6:

Reel Commander Fishing Charter, 17 Starring Ave., Alexandria Bay, David Michael Cortright, 48730 County Route 1, Redwood.

Leading the Way Dog School, 15650 County Route 5, Clayton, Viola M. Foresman, 15650 County Route 5, Clayton.

Rise ‘n Shine Housekeeping, 26397 Ridge Road, Watertown, Christine Meyers, 26397 Ridge Road, Watertown.

Maple Walnut Farm, 28689 Perch Lake Road, Watertown, Claude Wilson, 28689 Perch Lake Road, Watertown.

June 3:

1000 Islands Home Services, 8824 County Route 5, Three Mile Bay, Christina L. Ottman, 8824 County Route 5, Chaumont, Larry J. Ottman IV, 8824 County Route 5, Chaumont.

Juniper Tree Yoga, 313 General Smith Drive, Sackets Harbor, Quincey Blanchard Oliver, 313 General Smith Drive, P.O. Box 454, Sackets Harbor.

Dale R. Felder Grass Lake Farms, Burns Road, Theresa, Dale Robert Felder, 29817 Hickory Lane, Redwood.

June 2:

Public Knowledge Records, 446 Ambrose St., Sacket Harbor, Jonathan Edward Thomas Huntsman, 446 Ambrose St., Sackets Harbor.

June 1:

Coffee Time, 21182 Salmon Run Mall Loop W., Watertown, Ippel Tofamamao Laufasa, 15675 Emicike Place #107, Watertown.

June 2016: DBAs

DBA (doing business under an assumed name) certificates filed at the Jefferson County Clerk’s office April 4 to April 28, 2016 [Read more…]

Watertown councilman says city should explore CitiBus run by transit authority

Travelers ready to embark a CitiBus at the downtown Terminal.

Travelers ready to embark a CitiBus at the downtown Terminal. Watertown Daily Times file photo.

City Councilman Mark C. Walczyk wants the city to look into whether the CitiBus public bus system should be run by a transportation authority. [Read more…]

February 2016: DBAs

DBA (doing business under an assumed name) certificates filed at the Jefferson County Clerk’s office Jan. 4 to Jan. 29: [Read more…]

Loonie likely to stay weak, slowing Canadian shopping in NNY

WATERTOWN — Jeremy S. Askins, manager of J.C. Penney in Salmon Run Mall, said he’s noticed Canadians are making fewer cross-border trips this year to his store. [Read more…]

Salmon Run Mall losing at least four merchants

A handful of merchants are making a post-holiday exodus from Salmon Run Mall.

The P.S. from Aeropostale children’s clothing store closed this week, and merchants confirmed Thursday that others soon will follow: Vitamin World (Feb. 8), Gap (Feb. 26) and Deb, which is expected to close in the spring.

RadioShack, which has remained open as a clearance store since October, had numerous empty shelves Thursday, but the manager could not confirm a closing date for the store. He said three former employees transferred to RadioShack’s location on Arsenal Street in the fall, and the mall store now is staffed by only three employees.

A spokeswoman from RadioShack said in an email Thursday that no information could be provided about specific store closures.

The departing stores join others that did not make it through the holiday season, shuttering in late summer or fall of 2014. Popcorn N’ More, which opened in November 2012 at the mall’s west end, closed during the late summer; Fun on the Run Arcade moved into that space from its previous spot in the mall. D&D Racing moved out of the mall’s west end last September; Toys “R” Us moved into that spot for the holiday season, then closed earlier this month. FYE, which stands for “For Your Entertainment,” closed last year.

Karla Woods, spokeswoman for the mall, did not return a call Thursday seeking comment about the pending closures.

The Deb Shops women’s clothing retail chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December, a move that led to a liquidation sale at its 295 stores. Along with the Watertown store, the move will affect the Deb store at the St. Lawrence Centre mall in Massena.

The Watertown store, which started a liquidation sale last week, is expected to close in March or April, an associate confirmed Thursday. The store, which has 10 employees who will lose their jobs, had all of its merchandise priced at 30 to 50 percent off on Thursday. A handful of clothing racks at the store had prom dresses on sale, ranging from about $50 to $200 in junior to plus sizes.

The Deb associate, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said traffic for mall merchants slowed across the board in 2014.

“Business as a whole was down here from the year before. But according to everyone else, they were down, too,” she said. “For retail, it was a bad year. I think people just didn’t have the money to spend.”

A manager at the Gap clothing store confirmed Thursday that 19 employees will be affected by the store’s February closure, but he said they had the opportunity to transfer to other Gap stores. Gap announced the closing in December.

Vitamin World, which opened about 12 years ago at the mall’s west end, saw its sales fall in 2014 from the previous year, manager Mark C. Nelson said. He said the store’s five employees had the option to transfer to other locations but chose not to. The closest store to Watertown is in Syracuse.

“The lease here was up in February, and we’re closing February 8,” he said, adding he believes leases probably also were up for other merchants that are closing.

Mr. Nelson said a combination of factors led to lower sales in 2014 at the store, where all products are now on clearance.

“It has been less busy here because the Canadian dollar was closer to par last year,” he said. “It’s less busy on the west side of the mall, and our competitor, GNC, is at the better end with the food court. It just all came at the wrong time when our lease was up.”

The Dexter resident said the trend of American consumers increasingly buying merchandise online has been detrimental for on-site sales of mall merchants.

“All the sales at stores are down, and I think the Internet business is cutting into sales at brick-and-mortar stores in general,” Mr. Nelson said. “They’re buying from their homes and getting it in two to three days.”


By Ted Booker, Times Staff Writer

Economic Outlook 2015

The long road to recovery is less bumpy

Signs of a still-strengthening economy are starting to percolate as new opportunities across the region are born

Now that the country seems to be making its way out of the Great Recession, most sectors of the economy across the board and across the north country seem to be on an upswing for the coming year.

“If I had to pick a best bet – agriculture,” said Gregory A. Gardner, an assistant professor of business at SUNY Potsdam and a regional authority on Northern New York’s economy. “Especially the wineries and nondairy areas of agriculture. It has the strongest growth rate.”

Mr. Gardner also listed retail, construction and health care as sectors we can expect to see on an uptick, while retail and hospitality have tempered down.

“If I had any sort of bad news, it would be that the U.S. dollar is going to stay very strong, or get even stronger, through 2015,” he said. “That’s going to slow Canadian sales.”

The real wild card will be the military, the one sector dealing the highest impact to the rest.

“If they do move troops out of Fort Drum, that’s going to hurt our economy pretty much across the board,” he said. “There’s a ripple effect. It doesn’t just touch businesses that sell to Fort Drum, but businesses that sell to businesses that sell to Fort Drum. It would ripple through virtually every sector of our economy.” [Read more…]

Shoppers on both sides of the border hit stores for post-Christmas savings

Walking into Salmon Run Mall on Saturday morning, the holiday tunes over the sound system and countless flyers proclaiming “50% off” or “BOGO” may have given the false impression that Christmas was right around the corner.

But some shoppers argue the post-holiday sales were more giving than during the holiday shopping season.

“It’s cheaper,” said Nicole E. Odett, whose first stop for savings was the Christmas Tree Shop. She was pushing a cart of discounted wrapping paper, although she planned to see what the rest of the mall had marked down. “I usually get clothes [after Christmas]. I have five kids.”

In the Bon Ton, Deborah J. Hadfield had come with a friend to return an item, but she stayed to eye some of the discounts.

“Everything’s a lot cheaper, of course. The deals after Christmas are way better than they were before,” she said. “Especially clothing is marked down. Get them while you can.”

A majority of items across the mall — and even at stores across the Arsenal Street strip — were discounted anywhere from 30 percent to 75 percent.

“If you have kids and its Santa Claus, you want to get stuff before Christmas. But if anybody could wait, you should do it after,” advised Ms. Hadfield.

Outside Target on Towne Center Drive, sisters Erin L. Mallory and Lisa M. Mills were just about done with their shopping.

“It was 50 percent off, probably about the same as Black Friday but less crowded,” said Ms. Mallory.

Inside the store, discounts on regular items ranged from just under $1 to over $20. Christmas items, like ornaments and lights, were cheaper than that.

“Target had a better selection than Walmart,” Ms. Mallory added.

“The prices at both stores, Walmart and Target, were the same. But Walmart was very much picked over and Target had a better selection — more things available,” said Ms. Mills.

Angela Bratton decided to take her granddaughter Christmas shopping at Target.

“I was late with her Christmas, so this is it,” she said.

Although she wasn’t looking for deals, Ms. Bratton could not deny the prices were a steal.

“You’re going to save money after Christmas,” she said.

Farther north, Martin Labbee, of Montreal, was enjoying lunch in the food court at St. Lawrence Centre mall in Massena after spending the night before at the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino.

The day after Christmas, or Boxing Day as it’s known in Canada, has turned into one of the biggest shopping days of the year with retailers north of the border offering Boxing Day sales and specials that often rival Black Friday sales here in the U.S. Not all Canadians, however, spend their money at home.

Mr. Labbee said while he doesn’t make special trips to the U.S. for shopping, he often finds himself shopping when in the country for other reasons.

“Since we were here, we decided to do a little bit of shopping,” he said. “We’re not really looking for the ‘big deal.’ When we’re here, it’s usually looking for stuff we can’t get at home.”

St. Lawrence Centre Marketing Assistant Lindsey S. Breitbeck said the traffic the mall sees on Boxing Day usually rivals that of what they see during the holiday shopping season.

“It’s definitely consistent with the holiday season,” she said. “It doesn’t drop off right away like people might think.”

Speaking early Friday afternoon, Ms. Breitbeck said she had already fielded calls from more than a dozen Canadian shoppers who wanted to make sure the mall was open.

“Since we opened this morning, we’ve received at least 15 calls from people looking to come over,” she said.

While the mall does rely heavily on Canadian traffic, many local shoppers also come out following the holidays to exchange gifts and spend money or gift cards they may have received.

“We get a lot of traffic because things that may be marked up because of the holidays are now marked down,” she said. “If there was something people wanted for Christmas, but they didn’t find it under their tree, today (Friday) is the day they’ll buy it.”



By Amanda Thomson-Tangalin and Benny Fairchild, Johnson Newspapers

Retailers, riders like new CitiBus holiday service

Rebecca A. Sholett welcomed the idea of hopping onto a CitiBus on a Sunday to get to her job at the Salmon Run Mall.

The CitiBus system, kicked off the new bus service Sunday, aimed at helping people like Mrs. Sholett, who don’t have transportation, to get to their jobs or want to shop at the mall and other stores in the city.

The pilot program also will be offered on the city’s other bus routes along Washington Street, the north side loop and Coffeen Street on the next two Sundays before Christmas.

On Thursday morning, Mrs. Sholett was heading to her job at Sears when the bus driver asked her and other riders whether they needed a copy of the new Sunday schedule. Like many of the 30 people on the bus, it was the first time Mrs. Sholett had heard about the Sunday buses before Christmas.

“Everybody raised their hands, so I think that’s pretty cool,” she said.

Last Monday night, the Watertown City Council informally agreed to add Sunday runs to the city-operated bus system during this Christmas season. It’s the first time CitiBus is offering Sunday service in its 39-year history, city officials said.

Getting the message out to the people who use the bus system is crucial, council members said. Over the next several days, CitiBus drivers will hand out hundreds of fliers to riders. The city also distributed a public notice and completed a media blitz about the program.

Many retailers, like riders, are welcoming the new program, noting that it should help employees without cars. They also hope it will attract shoppers who might not necessarily be able to get to their stores on those Sundays.

It will come in handy for about 15 employees at the Christmas Tree Shop in the mall who rely on CitiBuses for work, said Liane R. Lee, the store’s assistant human resources manager. It also will be convenient for shoppers, she said.

“I think it’s especially going to help the elderly,” Mrs. Lee said.

Scott C. Raines, store manager at Sears, was not aware of the pilot program, so he’s not sure what kind of impact it will have on bringing customers to the store. But he’s optimistic it will help boost sales.

“I think it’ll benefit us,” he said.

Charlotte A. Lee, owner of the Cedar Mountain Mercantile gift shop in the mall, has noticed business has been slower than previous holiday seasons at the mall, so she said the holiday bus service “is a great idea.”

“It sure can’t hurt,” she said, adding that she wishes that CitiBus would offer Sunday buses throughout the year.

CitiBus rider and Mill Street resident Susan Beaman came up with the idea and sent City Manager Sharon A. Addison a letter three weeks ago, asking that the city consider whether CitiBus service could be added on Sundays during December.

Once it’s over, the city will assess the pilot program to see how many riders took advantage of the service and whether it should be offered again. Council members have expressed concern it may lose money.

It will cost $1,268.90 each Sunday for the salaries of the four bus drivers and for expenses such as fuel, city officials said. They could not provide any estimates on the amount of revenue that will be generated by the holiday service.

During the 2012-13 fiscal year, 154,293 people used CitiBus, with $152,601 in revenues generated by passenger sales. It has five buses. With a budget of $961,000 this fiscal year, CitiBus also employs five bus drivers, a head bus driver and a transit supervisor.



By Craig Fox, Times Staff Writer