Local

May 16, 2014 7:38 PM by Lauren Reimer

Buffalo Exchange closes downtown location

For three years, Buffalo Exchance President Kerstin Block has sifted and sorted through hundreds, maybe thousands of clothing items to sell at her downtown location. But the number of customers to walk in the door has been unexpectedly less.

"Rent is reasonable, she's a great landlady. It's just not enough people coming in to shop," says Block.

So she made the call to pull the plug on the location and move out.

"I just don't think people shop here for clothes, and I don't think they shop here much in the daytime. I think this is kind of a nighttime destination unless people are going out for lunch," says Block.

Some of her customers, like Andrew Ryan, would Disagree, "I was bummed. I live right around the corner, this is my spot to come and shop," he says.

According to the Downtown Tucson Partnership, of the local downtown businesses, 75 are restaurants, bars, or clubs, while only 45 are retail.

Group leaders say downtown is evolving, meaning some businesses will succeed, while others fail.

"I am still very excited about downtown, I just wish I could have played a bigger part in it," says Block.

Just next door, a business so new to the area it doesn't have a sign yet. Tucson Olive central opened a week ago. Its owners chose this location, in part, because of who they'd be sharing a wall with.

"We did look at the neighbors, we saw the type of people that were coming in going into buffalo exchange, down to The Hub," says Tucson Oil Central Supervisor Marco Ramos.

They hoped to attract those same people into their store. Now that the Buffalo Exchange is leaving, they worry so too will their customers.

"That's going to be a big impact," says Ramos. "It would be great if they would have stayed, but I wish them the best of luck."

The company will send its merchandise from their downtown location to their two other local stores off of Speedway Boulevard. Both of those locations are staying open.

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