In this Friday, Jun. 9, 2017, photo, 1-800-GOT-JUNK? business owner James Williams gets ready to load a store mannequin into a truck at the business, in Burbank, Calif. Removing the contents of a store is just one part of the job, says Williams. His company also donates usable equipment like vacuum cleaners to charities and takes furniture and fixtures to businesses that will recycle everything that's usable. Williams estimates that he's handled about two store closings a year during the nearly 12 years he's owned the franchise. But there's also a downside for his business when a store closes...he's just lost a customer. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
NEW YORK (AP) — When big retail chains close stores, it can be a blow or a blessing for small businesses located near the shuttered merchants.
Some small companies including retail competitors or junk haulers can pick up business. Aric Shlifka, the owner of Kiddles Sports in Lake Forest, Illinois, says many shoppers gravitate to a smaller store when one of the big players shuts down. The demise of the Sports Authority last year has contributed to a 5 percent increase in business for him since then.
But some businesses can see sales suffer when a big nearby retailer that has been a shopper magnet disappears.
Yogibo, which sells casual furniture, says it had to work harder to make itself more visible to shoppers after Sears vacated parts of its stores in some malls.
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