Home City The Other Place clothing store on Court Street is permanently closing

The Other Place clothing store on Court Street is permanently closing

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The Other Place storefront. Photo by Connor Perrett.

The Other Place is closing after 25 years on Court Street following the owner’s plans to retire.

The Other Place, a local women’s clothing store, is closing its doors after a quarter-century of business in the Athens community.

Doug Baker, owner and founder of The Other Place, said he’s closing the store now for retirement after being a businessman for 44 years. Despite owning two other businesses, Baker said he wants to close The Other Place first because it’s the furthest away from his home in Circleville.

Baker said he’s been able to remain competitive with larger clothing stores and online markets such as Amazon. Still, he acknowledged the challenges many small businesses face.

“There’s hardly an industry that hasn’t been affected by Amazon,” Baker said.

Baker said that he has been able to stay competitive because of the business’ presence on social media. He also said there will always be a demand for brick-and-mortar businesses.

“Amazon is the new gorilla,” Baker said. “Once upon a time it was Walmart. We survived Walmart, we can survive Amazon. Just have to figure out how to do business better.”

Baker said businesses like his have many advantages over online retailers, including giving people the opportunity to shop socially, to have something immediately after you buy it, and to be able to try something on before purchasing it. 

“When large chains do come to town, we have heard comments from citizens concerned that small businesses will be able to survive with the large business competition,” Christine Knisely, the city council president, said in an email.

Adjunct professor of economics James Stotter, however, argues that large corporations can actually be good for small businesses.

“Some of them have unquestionably been put out of business,” Stotter said. “But some of them might end up contractors for Walmart or Amazon, and some actually do better as a result.”

As an example, Stotter said that John D. Rockefeller used to offer shareholder status to the owners of small businesses he bought out. Stotter said that it is oftentimes economically advantageous for a large corporation to use small businesses as suppliers.

“Oftentimes a smaller supplier can do a job more efficiently than the bigger company so that it becomes more profitable for both,” Stotter said.

Stotter said that, if he owned a small business, he would try to work with larger corporations in order to keep his business afloat.

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