Small Businesses Around New Walmart Excited for Grand Opening

9:31 PM, Oct 27, 2011   |    comments
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AMHERST, N.Y. -- Roziek's Vacuums sits 500 feet from the new Walmart store on Sheridan Drive in Amherst and says they've been waiting for the grand opening and aren't afraid at all of the big box store stealing their business.

Walmart opened a new store Wednesday, moving business from its 20-year long location on Niagara Falls Boulevard in Tonawanda, to a bigger location at the corner of Sheridan and Bailey. Walmart store manager Peter Illenz is optimistic about the relocation, stating that in moving closer to the city of Buffalo, the company now has the ability to obtain a new customer demographic.

But what about locally owned businesses? Stores like Rosiek's Vacuums and Buffalo Stamps & Stuff have either been at their locations for more than 5 years, or been in business altogether for almost 30 years. Will they forfeit their customers to yet another corporate chain store? Are they worried?

Surprisingly, no.  Tom Rosiek, owner of Rosiek's Vacuums, actually took his previous business location from Niagara Falls Boulvard and moved into a plaza right in front of the newly developed Walmart. He relies on customers not being able to find the parts they need at Walmart, and instead turning to his store for service.  Roziek says he also knows that when new vacuums purchased at Walmart break, his store is close enough where for repairs to be quick and easy for customers.

"If people can't find what they're looking for, hopefully they'll find us here," Tom reasons. "Chances are the manufacturer is going to send you to us anyways!" 

An employee at Buffalo Stamps & Stuff is also appreciating the extra business that she believes Walmart will bring. She states that while customers can get simple craft materials like glue and beads from Walmart, they will turn to her store for a more customized craftsmanship feel and a bigger, more specialized selection.

Click on the video link above to see Marissa Bailey's report.

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