Before there were chain stores, malls and online shopping, there were single mom and pop shops –– and our neighbors were famous for keeping them thriving and the store owners fed. Now these same stores, accelerated by online shopping, massive one stop shop retail stores, and worsened by the pandemic, are being forced to close or move outside of Englewood, NJ.
A bright red “Space Available” sign is planted into the ground beside a roundabout at the bottom of W Palisades Ave and Tenafly Road on Wednesday, March 17th, 2021. (Photo/Julian Leshay)
We are all used to retail shopping; it’s something we all do and it plays an imperative part of local economics. The Cov-19 global pandemic has placed a pause on normal life and added more turmoil to a retail industry that is already having a rough time. Many stores that were usually striving are empty, out of business, remaining old tenants are ending their leases, vacating the premises, and relocating to another town.
A caution taped off Jackson Hole Diner is a retro-style diner that opened in the early 1970’s in New York City. With multiple locations, the one Grand Ave in Englewood, New Jersey has shut its doors. Photograph taken on Tuesday, December 29th, 2020. (Photo/Julian Leshay)
Just to give you an idea of the current state of store closures in Englewood, NJ, we grabbed our masks, camera and positive disposition and decided to capture the state of the store closures through the City of Englewood, NJ.
Walking through the City of Englewood, it is apparent there is a lot of life in the streets. Packed popular stores neighbor front retail window spaces covered in brown paper. Signs that advertise available space are prominent on the windows of empty storefronts, and not only along Palisade Avenue in the heart of Englewood's downtown shopping district, but throughout the City.
Coiled steel cable and a master lock tightly secure the front doors of an emptied storefront in Englewood, NJ on Monday, December 28th, 2020. (Photo/Julian Leshay)
Online shopping continues to have a major impact on business, and is not unique to the City of Englewood to have some empty storefronts, but the stay at home orders during this pandemic, high rent cost, occasional lack of parking availability and meter parking, all seem to have added to an already troubled City.
Business districts across the state of New Jersey face similar challenges, and all retail stores have been unable to compete with online shopping and a one in a lifetime global pandemic.
Save Our Stage” flashes on an LED light board in front of the Bergen Performing Arts Center in Englewood, NJ on Wednesday, March 17th, 2021. Bergen PAC had to close it’s door due to Covid-19 and is currently struggling to open them again. (Photo/Julian Leshay)
Now a year after the lockdown crippled small businesses in Englewood with restrictions being lifted and the public having access to vaccinations, we wonder if Englewood can bounce back and fill out it’s empty and aesthetically ugly storefronts?
Empty stores to a city should be a blank canvas to a painter. The fact is that having a couple dozen empty stores in downtown Englewood does not help the community. The opportunity and potential for what these spaces can be evolved into is what needs to be looked at now. What does Englewood need? What do the people of Englewood want?
A box planter with flowers in it sit in front of a completely emptied storefront that used to be Gorman TV and Appliances on Palisades Avenue in Englewood, NJ on Wednesday, March 17th, 2021. (Photo/Julian Leshay)
A bare tree stands in front of two large empty spaces that have their windows covered and “Retail Space Available” signs taped on W Palisades Ave in Englewood, NJ on Wednesday, March 17th, 2021. (Photo/Julian Leshay)
Flywheel, a stadium cycling fitness business, has “For Rent” signs and brown paper covering the windows on Van Brunt Street in Englewood, NJ on Wednesday, March 17th, 2021. (Photo/Julian Leshay)
A sole barber chair remains one of the only items in an old barbershop that may or may not still be used on Palisades Avenue in Englewood, NJ on Monday, December 28th, 2020. (Photo/Julian Leshay)
IM2 Dental Implants Group old blue and white storefront has “For Rent” signs in both if it’s windows on N Dean Street in Englewood, NJ on Wednesday, March 17th, 2021. (Photo/Julian Leshay)
An old pharmacy space remains empty close to two other large retail spaces that have “Retail Space Available” on their windows on W Palisades Ave in Englewood, NJ on Wednesday, March 17th, 2021. (Photo/Julian Leshay)
Multiple “Office Suites Available” on a multistory building on Palisades Avenue in Englewood, NJ on Wednesday, March 17th, 2021. (Photo/Julian Leshay)
Old leaves and litter scatter the front walkway of the closed store with a “Store For Rent” sign on it on Palisades Avenue in Englewood, NJ on Wednesday, March 17th, 2021. (Photo/Julian Leshay)
A “We’ve Moved” sign is seen inside an empty storefront, downtown Englewood,
on Wednesday, Wednesday, March 17th, 2021. (Photo/Julian Leshay)
A “For Lease” sign is seen outside the Renaissance Office Center planted into the ground at the bottom of Engle Street, on Wednesday, March 17th, 2021. (Photo/Julian Leshay)
Busy traffic shows the life that still lives in Downtown Englewood, NJ on Wednesday, March 17th, 2021. (Photo/Julian Leshay)
If you have information about a specific retailer not included here, or updated information about a retailer featured here, please reach out to us via our contact form.
Julian Leshay and Alie Pierce contributed to this story.