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Helping retail rebound

Nine retailers are on the city’s new real or virtual self-guided tour, meant to boost business downtown. So, you can actually “Let’s Go Shopping” now that phase 2 reopenings have kicked in.

There’s even a map to follow. https://www.downtownboca.org/DocumentCenter/View/1322/FINAL—Shopping-Walking-Tour

Nine stores are on the tour. They’re a mix, from Boca Raton Museum of Art’s gift shop to Brazilian jewelry, consignment, swimwear and home décor. There’s a makeup, hair and skin care salon and a gourmet shop known for cheeses, wines and delicacies.

Some are in Royal Palm Place and Mizner Park, shopping, dining and cultural destinations. But others are “hidden gems,” said the city’s downtown manager. “A lot of things in Mizner and Royal Palm they may not be aware of,” Ruby Childers noted. “Businesses had to adapt to new safety measures. But we want to remind people retail establishments are out there. You can contact these stores and a lot have online options.”

Are the tours meant to encourage foot traffic downtown? “Absolutely,” Childers said. “Now we’re going into phase 2, so we’re anticipating it should be improving.”

Does she see a pent-up demand? “People are stir crazy, but there’s still a lot of people self-quarantined at home. Even if you can’t take a walking tour, there’s nothing that says you can’t take these self-guided tours virtually. It’s two-fold. Yes, we want to see more action and activity downtown. Bbut it doesn’t have to be in person.”

The tours are part of the city’s ongoing marketing and promotion efforts. Downtown  even has a dedicated website  https://www.downtownboca.org/

This is the city’s second self-guided tour in a planned series. The first one was restaurants. “We will continue to swap them out,” Childers said. “We did the dining experience first. We’ll debut another one next month.”

How did the restaurant tour go? “We did hear people were there,” she said. “Even a little is a lot and we try to encourage activity for visitors. They can do this at their own time and own pace.”

Here’s the stores on the tour:

  • Boca Raton Museum of Art gift shop, Blue Mercury,  Sugarboo & Co., Mizner Park
  • Artistic Elements home décor, 400 E. Palmetto Park Road, across from Palmetto Park Promenade
  • Coconut Consignment, 68 S. Federal Highway, across from Royal Palm Road
  • Vianna Brasil, Swimland, Deborah James boutique and GourmetPhile, in Royal Palm Place

“We put together a nice variety of options. It’s more than just shopping. It’s sightseeing as well and finding what all the stores have to offer,” Childers said.

By Marci Shatzman

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