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Do You Support Small Biz? Abandoning Local Shop Says 'No'

Toy Shoppe of Setauket points the finger at lack of community backing for mom and pops for its decision to head south.

Michael and Shari Zuckerman, owners of The Toy Shoppe in Setauket, aren't leaving town quietly.

The couple on Wednesday and moving the business to North Carolina, where they claim the market for mom and pop retail is alive and well, something that can't be said about Long Island, according to them.

"This town, like many other Long Island towns, does not support its local stores. Many people in the town refused to step foot in the store for reasons we can’t put a finger on. The sentiment we got was that because we were small, we had to be overpriced. While true we were small, we held our line on price and service the big boys would have been jealous of," they wrote.

"If Long Islanders, and Three Village residents do not open their eyes, they will be without so many small stores they expect to find when they need them."

The pinch that small businesses feel these days as a result of the heavy congestion of Big Box retail on the North Shore of Suffolk County and more interest in consumers for shopping online has contributed to the emptying out of main streets like the ones in Kings Park, Smithtown, Upper Port Jefferson and Rocky Point as well as strip malls in places such as Commack and Port Jefferson Station where a mom and pop can be neighbor to an anchor tenant big-box store.

But the claims of the Zuckermans beg the question: Do you support your mom and pops? And, in your opinion, what needs to be done to keep small business on Long Island?

Let us know in the comments.

Local shop owner May 07, 2012 at 02:04 PM
Supply and demand..End of story
The Toy Shoppe May 10, 2012 at 01:12 AM
Wow! we just wanted to let you all know why we were leaving. Although true the space we chose was a very tough location, it was also all that was available in the area at the time, and quite frankly, 1/3 less money. None of you have been in our store, so don't rip the prices. We never chased our customers down (how ridiculous) we would , however, offer help if needed. We wrapped, remembered birthdays, names, and toys you already purchased. Now, for those of you with big mouths who never bothered to make a go of it on your own, you have no clue the expense involved in retail. We did OK in the spot. Just not good enough. We agree, location is key, price is important, and customer service is number 1. You all did prove a point though, you shop online and for the best price. So when you need that item in a hurry, dont despair when the store you hoped would be there , is gone. Now that being said, Let us clear this up: we advertised quite a bit, and it is exhaustively expensive in NY. Try paying 6k a month in rent, keep the electric on, pay the insurance and then advertise for 2k a pop. Not easy. Good luck in NY, we will be happy with less expense in NC.
Argile May 10, 2012 at 02:08 AM
Best of luck in NC. NY is lost. There is no future here. The politicans and unions made sure of that. You made the right choice. Hopefully NC learns from Long Island's/NY's mistakes.
Matthew Lott May 10, 2012 at 02:59 PM
They are still in Denial, and they haven't learned anything for their experience here.
jennifer new July 08, 2014 at 05:23 PM
any relation to Mike Zuckerman with Titan elevator? wanted to get in touch.... thanks!

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