The Bargain Shop has been a constant on Prince Street since the late 1990s and its difficult to say if the discount variety store was holding its own. No one is talking.
Regardless, it’s one of 64 Bargain Shops closing its doors across the country, another casualty it would seem of the ultra-competitive retail industry wars.
And there is no shortage of competition in the Truro area with major chain stores Giant Tiger and Walmart, strategically located at major exits, syphoning off potential customers to the downtown.
Not that it’s all gloom and doom in the downtown. Far from it.
Last year’s transformation of Margolians into a number of smaller stores was a major success story and there are several nearby gems for those who take the time to look.
A new provincial courthouse and, quite possibly, a new regional library could be part of the downtown in the next couple of years, too.
Still, The Bargain Shop’s departure in mid-April will leave another large building on Truro’s main drag sitting empty or largely empty with longtime fixtures Crowell’s and Walker’s having closed last year. Some provincial government offices, including Access Nova Scotia, are leaving later this year, too, for a new home in Truro Heights.
That’s not a positive because retail stores and restaurants need customers to survive and if there are fewer reasons to visit downtown there are less potential customers.
The same theory applies to the Truro Mall, which has a major void to fill once Zellers closes this month. This was one of the mall’s major anchors along with Sears and its departure can’t help but have a negative impact on traffic.
Could be, with the opening of a new Dollarama store near the Walmart just around the corner and the expansion of Giant Tiger already underway, the impact on retail shoppers in central Colchester will be negligible.
After all, they are primarily looking for the best bargains. Location – downtown, mall or outskirts of town – is secondary.
Just don’t tell that to those who have a vested interest in the downtown or the mall.