Summerside experiencing a retail business boom
In the past few months, Giant Tiger, Sport Check, and Pet Valu have opened their doors
A number of chain retailers and restaurants are choosing to set up business in Summerside, creating a bit of a boom according to the city's chief administrative officer.
The Pita Pit opened on Friday and customers like Terry Larmond sampled the latest lunch spot. He says it will save him time.
"It’s great," he says. "Saves going to Charlottetown. Yeah, it’s great having them here."
In the past few months, Giant Tiger, Sport Chek, and Pet Valu have opened their doors in P.E.I.'s second largest city.
All good news for the economy according to Summerside's CAO Bob Ashley.
"It means more jobs. It means more selection, more shopping choices for the people. It helps."
I think maybe Summerside has reached a critical mass that has probably put more retailers over the hump with their decision making process.-Bob Ashley
Two big openings are scheduled for the long weekend with Starbucks and the Wicker Emporium opening.
Wicker Emporium says its stores do well in smaller markets like Summerside.
Ashley says the city is at the right stage to attract these businesses.
"I think maybe Summerside has reached a critical mass that has probably put more retailers over the hump with their decision making process," he says.
The Greater Summerside Chamber of Commerce says more competition is good for the business community.
"I think that we have a fairly mature business community here in town," says Jonathan Greenan, president of the Greater Summerside Chamber of Commerce.
"People who have been operating here for years are able to compete and will compete with bigger competitors coming in."
Greenan predicts customers will come from more than just Summerside.
"I mean we're 16,000 people in the City of Summerside, but really we're a service centre for a much larger population," he says. "Essentially everything west of us, Summerside would be the large centre."