An endangered retail tradition lives on Chestnut Street

In today’s age of “dressing down and click-and-buy, in an environment where the big chains have killed off the mom-and-pops and Amazon is killing off the chains,” Boyds in Philadelphia holds the torch as the last great clothing store, writes the New York Times. In fact, the NYT laments, Boyds “may be the only clothing store of its kind anywhere in the country.” NYT tries to “understand how Boyds has avoided oblivion thus far,”  profiling the Gushner family, who have owned Boyd’s since 1938, and named their store “after a popular theater, and because it didn’t sound Jewish,” the skilled and beloved staff who are as much of a staple as their fine craftsmanship, and the loyal customers who bring their grandchildren back. Boyds continues to stay true and keep up with the times. Shoppers who have come for generations for the personal touch and “choreographed precision” can now also enjoy more denim and streetwear labels and also shop through their e-commerce site. This celebration of a longtime Philadelphia business and a regional destination for folks from the Main Line to NYC is a great read to start your week.

Warehousers’ Delight

But even as we hold down the tradition of grand department stores, Philly could be the next hotspot on the nation’s e-commerce supply chain, argues the PIDC in a new report. Philly is the third most densely populated city in the United States, located within the country’s most densely populated region, says the industrial development corporation and all that cheek-by-jowl living should work in the city’s favor as it seeks to rebuild and modernize the industrial economy that once powered the region. Why? The same e-commerce trends that are clogging our streets. “Companies are continually working to shorten delivery times and provide additional customer value, resulting in a growing category of “last-mile” distribution facilities located near major population centers and designed to provide highly expedited delivery service,” PIDC says. The report touts ongoing expansions of the port, Philadelphia International Airport and the fact that the city contains plenty of available, industrially zoned real estate as more reasons for companies to look at the City of Brotherly Love as they expand their distribution channels to meet the needs of online shoppers.

PSA: Great Public Spaces and Great Greenways/Trails nominations

Hey, are you proud of Philly’s public spaces and trails? Think we have some exceptional models that other cities could learn from? Tell the planning community and nominate your favorite place  for the American Planning Association Pennsylvania Chapter’s Great Places in Pennsylvania award! Deadline is April 17.

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