Sunday, June 5, 2016

"New business looks to beautify empty storefronts"

From The Journal


"RACINE — Empty storefronts bother Marty Sturino. A lot.

"So he decided to do something about them.

"Last week, Sturino and his business partner, Ed Jenkins, unveiled a new look for three large storefront windows at 427 Main St., the former Main Marine & Ski.

"Passersby may think they’re looking into a new Downtown phone store. But the reality is this: The windows are filled with a large, high-definition, 3-D graphic depicting a store inside what is actually vacant, available commercial space.

"This year Sturino and Jenkins, both retired SC Johnson executives, formed the company they are now launching: Storefronts Matter. Their business offers large, high-definition graphics that are stuck onto commercial windows to make empty spaces appear to house real businesses. The one at 427 Main St. is their demonstration project.

"'Empty storefronts are an eyesore for the community, wasted space with no utility and do little to interest potential renters/buyers,' Storefront Matters states.

"'Our storefronts improve the cityscape for residents, summer visitors and tourists by creating interest in otherwise ugly properties; provide information about the building; and create exciting promotional and advertising space for large companies, schools and civic organizations,' Sturino and Jenkins write.

"The graphics are created by a small Dublin, Ireland, graphic arts company called Virtual-Shopfronts; they’re sent to Storefronts Matter as large computer files and are printed here on vinyl sheets. The sticky sheets are applied professionally to the insides of windows.

"Virtual-Shopfronts offers more than 25 basic graphic creations including restaurants, shoe stores, men’s and women’s clothing stores, coffee shops and a health food store, Sturino and Jenkins said.

"However, Jenkins said, 'If you need something, they will create it.' The graphic artists can also move the positions of people within a graphic or change the color scheme, as Sturino and Jenkins had them do with their Main Street phone store.

"The building owner chose a phone store because that is what the company would like to attract to that space, Sturino explained.

"The demonstration space is adjacent to the Downtown Racine Corp. office at 425 Main St., and DRC Executive Director Devin Sutherland is thrilled by what Storefronts Matter is doing in a Downtown space.

"'Storefronts Matter is one of the most exciting business startups we have worked with,' he said. 'The concept of not only trying to enhance the aesthetics of a business district, but using this new approach to business attraction is very unique and innovative. The scalability of this is huge, and the applications for this product are endless.'"

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Tender Heart Bear said...

I went through downtown this past week and I couldn't believe how many empty places there are now.

thejasman said...

i dont know if this is a good idea or if it's just really sad.