retail

You may have heard of "flash mobs," where a mass of people invade a public space to make a scene. Now the idea has been turned on its head by "cash mobs," where large crowds of consumers show up at small businesses to spend money. But it's not just about propping up the local economy.

It's 5 o'clock on a Friday, and mostly quiet in the Lander's Men's Store, a mom-and-pop clothing store in Jamestown, N.Y. But shop owner Ann Powers is anticipating a mob.

What if you had to drive 50 miles just to pick up a pair of underwear?

The geographically isolated town of Saranac Lake, N.Y. has fewer than 5,000 residents and no "big box" stores like Target or Wal-Mart.

So the people there decided to create their own department store.

See the story from this weekend's episode of New York NOW:

Emma Jacobs / WRVO

What to say about DestiNY USA? The ongoing saga of promises to create the biggest, greenest mall upstate has ever seen is still, well, ongoing. Why? Delays, budget overruns and litigation.

The latest development took place earlier this month: the City of Syracuse agreed to extend tax breaks six more months, in exchange for $1 million from developer Bob Congel.

The Post-Standard's longstanding DestiNY USA correspondent, Rick Moriarty, generously agreed to sit down with us for a conversation that would help put the news in some context. Below, we've brought you a very abbreviated excerpt. For more, take a listen:

Dozens of tour buses have added the tiny town of Elma, N.Y., as a stop this year. On their way to scenic sites like Niagara Falls, these tourists are squeezing in a visit to the Made in America store.

Shop owner Mark Andol climbs aboard a bus and tells the riders that shopping here is a patriotic act.

"When you walk through them doors, I guarantee when you're shopping — the homework's been done — it's 100 percent made-in-America products. Made in this country by American workers, and the money stays in our economy. So, enjoy yourself," he says.

Courtesy photo / NYSERDA

Great expectations surround the new GlobalFoundries semiconductor plant, which set to open later this year in Malta, N.Y. But if the company and its high-tech workforce of 1,400 are expected to help revitalize the region’s economy, all those people will need plenty of places to spend their paychecks.

That’s why the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is planning a new “green” retail center for the employees – next door to where they’ll be working.