Fate of retail in Brockport

Local shoppers are trading in their shopping carts for virtual ones. This swift change in shopping habits is impacting local businesses such as Lift Bridge Book Shop.

(Front Entrance to Lift Bridge Book Shop Credit: Gavin Ellis)

John and Sarah Bonczyk have owned the iconic Lift Bridge Book Shop for 49 years. Both admit that online shopping and Amazon have greatly affected their Brick and Mortar business. 

“What we need in order to stay open are more people shopping in our store and a renewed awareness that shopping local is essential to our communities longevity,” said Sarah.

The couple says they have been working hard on the store’s social media presence to increase the bookstore’s popularity. This includes posting weekly updates regarding sales and e-book releases.  

Lift Bridge Book Shop is one of many businesses that have had to adapt to the new popularity of online shopping. SUNY Brockport has been impacted by this as well; most notably the Student Union package room. This is a place where Brockport students go pick up their mail.

Brockport senior Lydia Aroune is an employee at the Student Union Package Room.

“At the beginning of the pandemic, we had to switch to a different location that was less cluttered due to the number of packages that were coming in” 

(Front View of Student Union Package Room Credit: Gavin Ellis)

Aroune goes on to say “throughout the past year, this issue has largely been resolved, allowing the package room to move back to its original location in the Seymour College Union”. 

“The first three weeks of classes always mean bigger packages in larger quantities,” said Aroune. “Some of these items include furniture and decorations which students use to accessorize their dorms, along with school supplies and textbooks.”

However, not all businesses in Brockport are being impacted by the increase in online shopping sparked by COVID-19. Eclipse Boutique, located on 65 Main Street, has been flourishing since its opening in 2020.

(Front Entrance of Eclipse Boutique Credit: Gavin Ellis)

Co-owner Steve Brown says he was lucky enough to purchase this establishment when the location became available.

“This location in Brockport is doing much better than our location in Caledonia, even though we opened up in the middle of the pandemic.”

Eclipse Boutique is still thriving today with their selection of handcrafted candles, incense, lotions, and their personal clothing brand, SugarPunk. 

(Products Inside Eclipse Boutique Credit: Gavin Ellis)

When you walk into Eclipse Boutique, you may be blown away by all the decorations they have displayed, Danni Brannon manager of Eclipse Boutique is the reason for this.

Brannon has been working at Eclipse Boutique for around two years with a passion for all things punk.

“Eclipse is a welcoming place for people with similar hobbies to come shop and hang out,” said Brannon. She believes the store’s recent attraction is caused by the lack of stores available in the area.

Eclipse Boutique attributes some of its popularity to its frequent use of social media. They post primarily on their Instagram and Facebook pages to promote their new products, along with any sales that may be going on at the time.

With the increasing popularity of online shopping, Brockport businesses are being forced to strategize and innovate new ways to adapt to the changing times.



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