When the Larchmont Chamber of Commerce hosted a brainstorming session about improving the Village's business district, retailers heard something they didn't expect: the Village has gotten so upscale that some residents can't afford to shop there.
Wondering just how true that hypothesis might be, this intrepid shopper spent a few hours on Palmer and Post, looking for items costing $25 or less.
The ground rules were:
The items needed to be both practical and appropriately priced: four $2 markers gussied up in a pretty pouch for $20 didn't fit the bill.
Stores devoted to items that are expected to fit the price range, such as books, office supplies or note paper, were excluded.
Clothing was not part of the search as most items would be expected to be over $25.
Sale items were not included.
So what did we find?
Some stores, particularly the clothing stores along Palmer, are indeed out of the price range. At a store that sells costume jewelry but had nothing that wasn't on sale for less than $25, the sales clerk seemed surprised that someone might even be looking for something in that price range. "We cater to wealthy older women with lots of money to spend," she said.
But, clothing stores aside, most of the shops do try to offer goods at a wide range of prices. At Pink on Palmer, skin care products range from very affordable to well over $100, and at Wendy Gee there were many items within our budget. Foley's Hardware offers much more than hardware, while Field focuses on items that are not only attractive but are "eco-friendly."
Some of the nicest finds?
- Great hostess gifts: Copper watering cans ($24) and vases ($15 and up); state glasses ($13); baskets from Africa ($18)
- Attractive and practical items for your child: a laundry hamper ($14.99) and Melissa and Doug toys ($10-$25) at Foley's
- Some unexpected finds: Swiss army knives, starting at $7.50 for the classic; sturdy glasses made from recycled milk bottles ($6 and $12.50); colorful baskets for toys, yarn or whatever ($16); honey pots ($5.99) at Foley's
- Gifts for men ( a traveling humidor ($25) and cigars, ($5 to $39)
- And gifts for women: Tote bags ($10-20), Mario Badesco skin care products ($10-$22) and Jewelry cases ($22)
So before getting in your car and heading to the malls, take a stroll through the Village. You'll never know what you might find.