Featured Letter: Why does Riverhead need another shoe store?

To the Editor:

I was one of many bibliophiles who joined the email campaign to Books A Million in the hopes that our town would not be long without a bookstore after Borders closed. Every now and then we would drive by the building to see if there was any indication of some new business. Tonight, the family was so excited to see lights on and signs of construction. We drove up to see a sign in the window announcing that the building is now going to be the home of yet another shoe store.

Really? Are they kidding?

Why on earth would anyone approve another shoe store in this town? Google “Shoe Stores, Riverhead, NY”. There are over 23 places to buy shoes between the Long Island Expressway and Route 105.

Is it that the developers, who love to fly in from large metropolitan places and tell us what we need in this little burg, are not really looking at their demographic information? Do they get paid more if they can push a big box store on us? Are the existing shoe stores not filling the shoe-buying needs of the public? Are they so specialized that we require a shoe store for each type of shoe in our closets?

Riverhead would be better served by businesses we don’t currently have in abundance. How about an IKEA? We could use affordable, earth friendly, durable furniture and the nearest IKEA is in Nassau County. Why not a Bass Pro Shop? We have plenty of camping, hunting, fishing and hiking on the East End. There are indoor rock climbing facilities that would appeal to a wide variety of people; the nearest one of these is in Plainview. I’m sure there are plenty of businesses that would enhance Riverhead’s economy, especially if we stop offering outrageous tax breaks.

I would like to encourage Riverhead Town to be more judicious in the development of the business district. We have enough auto parts stores, shoe stores, box discount retail stores and mediocre chain restaurants. Let our mom-and-pop businesses thrive and invite companies to town that will complement, not compete with, them.

Laura Jacques, Riverhead

Read more Letters to the Editor in this week’s Riverhead News-Review available on newsstands or by clicking for the E-Paper.