Every year in mid-July downtown Greenwich is overrun with people searching for bargains from the many stores that participate in the Sidewalk Sale. Sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, the annual sale has sparked debate among participating merchants and town residents over its relevance. To encourage greater participation by town merchants, the theme of this year’s sidewalk sale will be “Outside & In”. Presumably, stores whose wares are not easily merchandised on the sidewalk will be encouraged to participate indoors.
Therese Saint Clair has participated in the Sidewalk Sale for many years and we plan to do so again this year. The only reason for our participation is to show solidarity with other members of the Chamber of Commerce who support this event. While some merchants may benefit from the sale, we have consistently found that the expense of participating far outweighs any financial benefit. More importantly, it discourages town residents from shopping downtown because of the congestion.
As residents of Greenwich, we question whether it is worthwhile to support a Chamber activity where the participation of town merchants is low and which simultaneously alienates the community our business serves. We believe that the annual Sidewalk Sale has outlived its usefulness.