Open for Business
Marshalling in a new storefront at “The Plaza”
Since last year’s holiday season, south-county residents have been at a collective loss at the closing of the state’s last Kmart store. Olympia Sports and Radio Shack also have joined the ranks of the Barrington Plaza’s (322 Stockbridge Road) has-beens. Marshalls has swooped in to occupy the 24,000-square-foot space. Whether or not it can fill the void for those who relied on Kmart for beach towels, sporting equipment, and last-minute cat food remains to be seen.
“I could get anything I needed at Kmart: flip-flops, oil for the car, an extension cord,” says Brandi Page of Stockbridge. “A Target would’ve been nice.” More Berkshirites (and just more people in general) have opted for Amazon. Others are traveling north, where there’s another Marshalls on Pittsfield Road in Lenox, and a slew of other stores—hardware, cooking, clothing, mostly independent, as well as Lee Premium Outlets.
“I started going to Pittsfield—the mall, Walmart, Target—to get the things I needed,” says Sean O’Brien of Great Barrington.
On a recent Saturday, the new Marshalls was packed with shoppers, the checkout line looking more like the queue for a Rolling Stones concert than people buying socks, USB cables, and bronzer. Marshalls already has donated $10,000 to Berkshire South’s Community Supper Program.
Face it: It’s difficult to get affordable clothing south of the Lenox line. Geneve Brossard at Griffin in Great Barrington says Marshalls is just fine. But don’t forget the others. “Make sure people know about Catwalk, Next, and Griffin. Even the Goodwill as having interesting and quality options. Vintage is a blessing because it can’t go for too much!”