Brooklyn Store Owner Launches Concert Series, Sees Sales Growth after COVID
By Joe Connolly and Neil A. Carousso
NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — A Brooklyn store owner has found creative ways to grow during the pandemic.
Doug Grater took advantage of lower rents during the pandemic shutdown and moved his Something Else apparel store in Park Slope one block from its original location in a residential neighborhood to the corner of Fifth Avenue and Union Street that is once again flooded with tourists.
“Union is turning into a major thoroughfare,” Grater said on the WCBS Small Business Spotlight, sponsored by Dime Community Bank.
He pointed to the proximity to Prospect Park and the subways as one reason he was confident in the move he first described to WCBS 880 in May 2021. Now, many bars and restaurants are opening on Union.
“I believe in New York City, I believe in the street traffic, and I believe in people walking down a street for a AAA location and that’s what I pay for,” he said.
Grater recently invested in a fully hand-painted storefront, which has attracted more people inside the store.
People in the community are also rushing to the gates to enjoy free weekly concerts outside Something Else.
Grater told WCBS 880 he came up with the idea while riding his bike around his Brooklyn neighborhood one day during the height of the pandemic and saw a band playing in the street to no one. He invited them to perform when COVID restrictions in the city were eased.
“We pretty much built a venue outside called the Something Else Concert Series,” the retail owner said. “We’ve probably had over 50 shows with all different local bands and it’s become a real success.”
Grater said that experience is his way of giving back to the community.
See more marketing and growth ideas on the Small Business Spotlight video above.