For more than 30 years, Sheridan’s Fine Jewelry has been a staple in downtown Cortland, but owner Chuck Sheridan now sees the future of retail in a new location: Homer.
By mid-May, before Mother’s Day, Sheridan said he hopes to be moved in to a new location at 1 N. Main St. in Homer, across from Dasher’s Corner Pub.
“The thirst on (Cortland’s) Main Street is no longer retail,” Sheridan said. “Homer is a shopping area.”
There are many reasons he decided to make the change. He held a 2003 contact list of about 30 retail stores in downtown Cortland. Of those on the list, he said, about eight remain.
Also, there has been a lot of construction by the store, which resulted in a decrease in business on those days, he said.
“No one wants to park near a construction vehicle,” Sheridan said.
Downtown Cortland has been good to him, though, he said. The customers are always friendly and his revenue has stayed steady in the past few years. He actually made a few thousand dollars more in 2017 than he did in 2016.
He hasn’t seen the growth he would like, but said he can’t complain.
“I’m trying to look forward and to the future,” Sheridan said. “I don’t see retail as the future of downtown.”
When he got his location at 6 Main St. in Cortland, Sheridan said he got the last space available.
“This was an area to come and shop,” he said. “It just lost that.”
Adam Megivern, executive director of the Cortland Downtown Partnership, said he thinks Sheridan’s move will be good for his business. But he also stated there are a lot of improvements coming to downtown Cortland that will turn it back into a retail area through micro-enterprise grant programs and a 2016 study identifying what retail businesses have the greatest success.
Also, a $10 million state grant to revitalize downtown Cortland will create more housing opportunities in the city, bringing more people. When those people come, the city has to be ready, though. He said some businesses will need to stay open longer, while people are out of work.
He said he sees downtown Cortland being a good location for the next wave of young entrepreneurs. The Cortland Business Innovation Center at 40-42 Main St., run by the Cortland Downtown Partnership, will become a hub for that, Megivern said, with retail space on the first floor and space for entrepreneurs to grow and develop a business idea on the second.
When Sheridan makes the move to Homer, he plans on downsizing the business, selling fewer antiques and focusing on selling jewelry, coins, gold and silver and doing custom work — making custom rings or engraving jewelry.
Connie Parmiter of Cortland picked up an engraved gold money clip from the store last week, and found out for the first time that Sheridan’s would be moving.
“Fabulous!” she said with excitement, as the shop would be even closer to her home.
Sheridan said all the businesses on Main Street in Homer have already been welcoming to him.
“I’m very excited about moving to Homer,” Sheridan said.