BUTTE — It started with a light-hearted comment by some celebrities about shopping in Butte.
“I know that there’s like one store in Butte and it’s Walmart,” Kelly Clarkson said on her talk show recently.
“That’s true,” replied Helen Mirren.
True, there is a lack of large retail in Butte, but some business owners are saying to take a look at all the small retail.
“It gets a little frustrating for me personally, because, especially Uptown Butte, there’s so many great shops and if you look closely you can find everything you need,” said HO+KO owner Lakyn Challeen.
Some say they’ve seen an increase in new small businesses popping up that include clothing boutiques, beauty supplies, and other unique merchandise.
“It’s more than just Walmart for clothing, that’s for sure. We have lots of boutiques Uptown for people to shop at. You can spend all day shopping Uptown,” said Twisted Design owner Kim Monroe.
Terminal Food Center is a family-owned butcher shop that’s been in Butte for more than 60 years. While the owner has seen more small business growth in recent years, he understands why people complain about the lack of large retail.
“I can see what their point is, the mall, there’s not many shops left in the mall it seems like. There’s a lot of online ordering, anymore, I think it’s hurting the smaller business,” said owner Chris Mandic.
While the city’s economic leaders are trying to entice a large retailer to Butte, they also stress the importance of supporting small businesses.
“We’re the ones donating to fundraisers and sports and this and that that the big retail stores just aren’t going to do,” said Challeen.