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Story sullied Ciura's work

Your Jan. 6 online story (BSD may take new approach to fill retail vacancies) left this retail observer in the dark. Believing I missed important content, notably comments from Cindy Ciura, I read the story several times; I did, in fact, read correctly the first time. That Ms. Ciura was not given an opportunity to explain her working relationship with the Birmingham Shopping District (BSD), as well as the reason for a breakdown in that relationship, leads me to believe the story was intended to sully her work. And what work...what fine work … it is.

As a Birmingham resident for 27 years, and a retail trend watcher for two and a half decades, I offer that Ms. Ciura’s efforts at bringing first-class, best-in-class retail offerings to town should be celebrated. Indeed, even in the district’s prime, those salad days when shoppers fought for parking spaces, and shopping bags from Crowley’s and Jacobson’s were familiar sights, the variety and quality of retail offerings then does not compare to what awaits shoppers today. The BSD pulsates with a dynamism few cities its size, anywhere in the country, can replicate.

Rather than embark on what will most certainly be an exercise in wheel spinning (and see vacant storefronts languish), the proposed “recruitment team approach” must be reconsidered in favor of mending fences with CC Consulting or leaving no stone unturned to find a comparable replacement, a professional with a sophisticated vision who not only understands today’s retail landscape and has an eye trained to the new, but also an eye trained to what’s next.

Edward Nakfoor



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