Instead of having sidewalks filled with people shopping for the best deals at their favorite shops, the annual Cedarhurst Summer Sidewalk Sale was reduced to an indoor sales event because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Roughly 75 Cedarhurst merchants too part in what was billed as the Central Avenue InsideWalk Sale. The sale began the morning of Aug. 5 and will continue on Aug. 6, 7 and 9 as participating shops open at 10 a.m. on those days.
The summer sale has taken place for more than 30 years and was created to generate business during a slow time of the year by attracting customers to the stores with larger than usual discounts. Last year’s sale had over 80 businesses take part.
The Cedarhurst Business Improvement Districts collects a portion of the village tax on commercial property. In conjunction with the village, the money is used for improvements and promotions in the business district.
Village Deputy Mayor Ari Brown, a BID board member since 1998, is a strong proponent of the event. “This sale event serves as an economic engine for businesses that need to rev up revenue and I’m glad we were able to hold some type of sales event this summer,” Brown said. “If any of the stores have a down year in sales, the sale usually helps out immensely. This will definitely help our stores during a time like this.”
Morton’s Army and Navy store in Cedarhurst discounted assorted summer clothing 40 percent. “This is obviously much different than the sidewalk sale but we’ve had a decent amount of people come in,” said storeowner Steve Silverman said. “It’s also a good way of clearing out our seasonal items. It also gets people to buy so many things on sale. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.”
Sharona Hoffman, owner of Make it Too arts and crafts store in Cedarhurst, helped organize the sale by coordinating a raffle on social media that includes a prize of $1,200 dollars for a lucky shopper.
“We’ve all been struggling the past few months and I thought it was important to hold some type of sale during the summer,” Hoffman said. “Even if we only get 10 percent of what we’d usually get in business, it’s still a big help.”
While the sidewalks were not filled with merchant wares, shoppers still made their way to find the best deals while wearing a mask and social distancing. Rita Levenson, a Far Rockaway resident, said she felt comfortable being out and about despite the pandemic.
“I just came to look around to see if anything catches my eye,” she said. “I think the sale is a good thing not only for the businesses, but also the shoppers because it has let me discover a couple of stores I would’ve usually walk right past.”
Hewlett resident Nikki Obshatcko is a lifelong patron of the sidewalk sale who said she was happy to be there. “I’ve been coming to the sidewalk sale almost my whole life and it’s always great finding some great items that these stores have to offer,” she said. “It’s nice to be out and about especially with all that has happened in the past few months.”