'Main Street' retail : suburban survival?
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Geneva is a small city in Illinois with a population of about ten thousand people, and it has a downtown area with several small businesses. Nearby this downtown area are several large shopping malls which are equally accessible to those who live in the Geneva area. The key question I pose is "Will Geneva's downtown businesses survive the competition from nearby malls and shopping centers, and if Geneva's downtown survives, what makes it successful?" In order to find the answer I developed a questionnaire with several questions pertaining to advertising practices, merchandise purchased, markdowns, employees and benefits, store maintenance, customer satisfaction, and the store's target market. With this questionairre in hand I visited some places in Geneva, and some larger stores in the surrounding areas, and I interviewed the managers of these stores. The stores interviewed include Erday's, the Teen Shop, and the Fashion Walk. All of these stores are in downtown Geneva. Also included are P.A. Bergners in Northgate shopping center in Aurora, Brooks Fashions at Fox Valley Mall in Aurora, and finally Joseph Spiess at the St. Charles Mall in St. Charles, Illinois.