Heading into the biggest retail weekend of the year, one downtown York merchant has a message for his customers.
Well, 99 percent of them (according to a post on his Facebook page).
It’s an unusual sentiment for a business owner to have.
But 37-year-old Harry Smith, owner of Antiquita Glassworks, says he actually means it.
Smith posted a lengthy rant on his Facebook page today detailing how his business went dead when he moved from a stand in Central Market to his store at 25 E. Philadelphia St.
“None of you seem to know how to walk a block east from central market, or remember how to call or email one of the 1000’s of business cards I’ve given out,” he writes.
The rant continues:
“Hate me, or love me for this post, but nothing changes the facts of the matter — you have all let my business down, as well as this community, art scene, and enviroment (sic) – period,” he continues. “Now let the comments begin, but please remember I stopped caring what you think the moment I realized you stopped caring about my business. Consider us even.”
I checked in with Harry today about the post.
Does he really mean it?
As it turns out — yup. Pretty much.
“The city doesn’t, in my opinion, have it together,” he said. “I also feel as though a lot of my customers take for granted what’s around them.”
It’s not the first time a York business has lashed out on Facebook. And it probably won’t be the last.
A little background: Smith is a fifth generation York County businessman.
His family, he said, owned a bottling works in Glen Rock in the 1800s that later became Glen Traditionals furniture.
He graduated from York Suburban High School and moved into York city five years ago.
His stand in Central Market opened about two years ago.
At first, he said, things were, booming. As he described, it was “a landslide of money.”
Little by little — especially after the market’s renovations — sales dropped off.
Hoping to breathe new life into his business, Smith moved into his current space in September. It’s just a block away from the market.
No big deal, right?
Things got worse.
“I’m tempted to go to Lancaster,” Smith said. “They actually have an arts scene. People utilize it. They don’t have to pull teeth to have people utilize one block on First Friday.”
So, today, he reached a boiling point.
Smith says he doesn’t regret posting his online display of displeasure.
It’s how he feels.
“People want to come down here and be seen, but they don’t want to utilize what’s important in the community,” he said. “To me, it’s a bit of a shim sham.”
Here is the full post: