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'Bracing for a train wreck'
'Bracing for a train wreck'
Ruthayn Scaglio
Owner, Shoetique
Katonah, N.Y.

When we opened a year and a half ago, we hit the ground running. Then, it was like someone just shut the light off. No dimmer, just completely shut off. Katonah, with its typically bustling little storefronts, has become a ghost town.

Women don't need shoes - they want shoes. In attempt to keep the store moving, I've cut back my employees' hours, opened up the store on Sundays and carefully monitored my inventory. I've also sent out e-mails to my loyal customers to lure them in, but I assume they're ignoring them the same way I'm trashing e-mails from my favorite stores.

Another issue is trying to compete with the big guys in the malls. I simply can't match their discounts unless I put a sign out on the street that says, "Come in and take for free!"

Last year, our Black Friday was really busy, but this year, while trying to stay positive, I'm bracing for a train wreck. People are frozen and we're just trying to hold on until the spring thaw - at that point, I have faith business will turn for the better.

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LAST UPDATE: May 18 2009 | 3:28 PM ET
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