business news in context, analysis with attitude

Interesting piece in the New York Times about a small but different retailing world that "still exists on certain blocks in the East Village and on the Lower East Side, where merchants of various generations are still making, fixing or otherwise championing nostalgically tactile niche objects."

One sells pencils and erasers, and seems to thrive at least partially because people (including high school students!) are curious about such things. Another sells rubber stamps, and is just one of "three East Coast companies left who make stamps the old-fashioned way (with rubber)." And another one sells - go figure - old fashioned cash registers, for which there seems to be an appetite in some quarters.
KC's View:
The point is that there seems to be room for independent, highly niche players … maybe not a lot of room, but enough for some to survive … if they are differentiated enough, and if the niche is interesting enough.

"Nostalgically tactile niche objects" is one way. Really good, highest common denominator food seems like another.

Pretty good lesson, I think.