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The future of local retail in South Bend

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - In the age of Amazon and online shopping options, boutiques may seem obsolete.

However, there are plenty of local shops in the East Bank Village neighborhood in South Bend.

Ali Oesch opened Ali on the Boulevard four years ago.

She says her custom jewelry and clothing boutique is thriving.

“Every year we’ve seen continual business growth and lots of love from the community,”Oesch said.

A few blocks away at Inspire Me! Boutique, owner Jeanne Skelton’s has been in business since 1993.

She has no plans of shutting down anytime soon.

But Skelton wants more retail neighbors downtown.

“It brings people downtown and it brings excitement, and things to do,” Skelton said.

Oesch feels the same.

She’s hoping downtown revitalization efforts also bring local retail back to life.

“I really encourage other retail to come to downtown and to our area. I think all of the lofts and apartments that are being built, the townhomes, I think more people will live down here,” Oesch said.

That is very possible.

The Chamber of Commerce tells ABC 57 that South Bend’s renaissance could help bring more one of a kind retailers to the area.

 After all, Oesch and Skelton have made it work by creating experiences only available in South Bend.

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