In face of rising rents, unsavvy owners are saviors for local Village shops

June 06, 2012 12:30PM

With the city’s rising rents and increasingly affluent population, it’s some wonder that mom and pop shops can survive at all, let alone in the trendy Greenwich Village area. But according to the New York Times, those that do survive benefit from one common factor: owners who eschew the relentless pursuit of profits.

While many Village shop owners cashed out in recent years and sold their leases to high-end fashion stores and chains, and others were unwilling to struggle to make ends meat amid rapidly rising rents, some owners were content to earn just enough to cover their costs.

The Times cited the owners of the McNulty Tea & Coffee Shop on Christopher Street,The Imperial Vintner Liquor Store On Hudson StreetAnd The Arleen Bowman Boutique On Bleecker Street as examples of people who hadn’t attempted to adapt to trends and change their business model, and instead were content with their income. (The Times does concede that in liquor, coffee and interesting clothing, these shops offer items that have managed to grow in popularity over the years.)

“We’re not way richer or poorer,” said McNulty’s owner David Wong. “We’re about the same.”

But the prospect for new mom and pop shops opening in the area are dim, as rising rents and costs require the deep pockets and efficient business plans of experienced retailers. [NYT]