Dighton’s Small Town Mall brings something different to rural town

In a day and age when shopping is at our finger tips with the help of a smart phone or tablet, and big box stores continue to open within driving distance, small town business owners find themselves struggling to compete or find business.

But for Joyce Thomas, owner of Dighton Home Hardware, evolving her store into the “Small Town Mall” that draws in more than one customer base has proven to be effective.

Located at 200 E. Long St. in Dighton, the Small Town Mall is in Home Hardware’s 10,000-square-foot, two-story building and houses the hardware store, 16 antique/craft/collector booths and an upscale consignment clothing boutique. The Small Town Mall had been just a hardware store for decades, but with more and more chain retail stores opening in Garden City — a little less than an hour’s drive from Dighton — in recent years, the big box store businesses have taken a toll on the small-town business, according to Crystal Hoffman, Thomas’ daughter. “It was a hard decision the first of the year with what we could do to bring revenue in, not just hardware, and we brainstormed,” Hoffman said said in a recent interview, recalling how the Small Town Mall came to be. “Obviously, with small towns, you can’t keep functioning the way your are. You have to think outside the box, and that’s what we did.”

(Read more: News – The Garden City Telegram)