FARMINGTON — As large chain stores were gearing up for Labor Day, the Farmington downtown remained relatively quiet.
Despite Labor Day being one of the most active shopping days of the year, many downtown businesses were closed for the holiday.
"You never know if a business will be open," Randy Large, owner of Sherrie's Studio, said as he and his wife, Sherrie, walked down Main Street to their photography studio Monday morning.
Originally located inside the mall, Large moved the studio downtown about a year ago due to the lower overhead costs. Since moving, Large said he hasn't seen much difference in business and her said the downtown provides him more flexibility in hours. On busy days, the studio stays open longer.
While Sherrie's Studio didn't have Labor Day incentives, other downtown businesses, like BedRooms Plus, offered various Labor Day sales.
Store manager Bryan Sledge said there was a steady stream of people throughout the sale. However, he said many people chose to take to the rivers or mountains for camping and fishing rather than shopping.
Sledge said he decided to have Labor Day sales because it's a time when a lot of big suppliers offer incentives.
For example, BedRooms Plus had a sale on La-Z-Boys because its supplier was offering chairs with a wide selection of fabrics and designs for a discounted price.
Sledge said suppliers gear these sales for the big cities, where Labor Day is one of the major shopping days.
But, while BedRooms Plus wasn't elbow-to-elbow on Labor Day, a steady stream of customers examined the store's wares, from futons to mattresses and more.
Sledge said this year has been strange. The store is either crowded or empty each day, without much in between.
He said he doesn't see a huge advantage being in the downtown, mainly because Farmington is so small.
"All you got to do is get in your car and drive ten minutes and you can be anywhere," Sledge said.