Despite COVID-19′s economic hit, Bristol is Thriving

A crisis reveals as much as it devastates. Retailers that were struggling before the coronavirus outbreak are now crumbling. Not well positioned to pivot going into the crisis, J.C. Penney, with more than 800 stores and nearly 85,000 employees, recently filed for bankruptcy, joining Neiman Marcus and J. Crew in the running list of retail casualties in the last two months

Meanwhile in Bristol Connecticut, news is good. Harbor Freight Tools store located in the former Staples building at 871 Farmington Avenue is now open.

“The City of Bristol is pleased that Harbor Freight has chosen Bristol as the location for their 10th store here in Connecticut. Working with them for the last several months to finalize site specific issues and their participation in the City’s tax abatement program was an important component in filling this retail space,” said Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu. “It has allowed them to invest in some much-needed infrastructure improvements that were needed for their specific build-out.”

The store will stock a full selection of tools and accessories in categories including automotive, air and power tools, storage, outdoor power equipment, generators, welding supplies, shop equipment, hand tools (which come with a lifetime warranty) and much more. At 24,000-square-feet, the stores are much easier to shop than the huge home centers.

“We’re ready to serve and deliver value to customers in Bristol and all of Hartford County,” said Jeff Davila, district manager. “At Harbor Freight, we recognize that now, more than ever, our customers depend on Harbor Freight for the tools they need to get the job done at an affordable price. We are the place for quality tools at the lowest prices for mechanics, contractors, homeowners and hobbyists – any tool user who cares about value.”

Harbor Freight Tools was founded in Southern California in 1977, when 17-year-old Eric Smidt began transforming his father’s small sales business into a successful company.

With the opening of Harbor Freight Tools, another retailer set up show in Bristol. Five Below has added another location in Bristol.  The retailer is located in the former Roz & Ali store next door to Stop & Shop in Bristol Plaza.

As the economy slowly re-opens, we are very happy to have a new store to add to the mix,” stated Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu. “Federal Realty’s team — Owner of Bristol Plaza — has been working very hard to bring a new mix of stores to the Plaza, and we look forward to more announcements soon.”

Five Below is a high-growth value retailer for tweens, teens and beyond offering trend-right, high-quality products, with extreme $1-$5 value, plus some incredible finds that go beyond $5.

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