Economy Candy

Economy Candy, on New York’s Lower East Side, is not a huge store, but it creates a huge impression. It is actually rather narrow, although it is long and the ceiling is high. It feels like a warehouse and a small shop all in one shot.

But what makes Economy Candy memorable is its religious focus on just one thing: Candy, candy and more candy. From the highest-end chocolate bars to the cheapest gumballs. It’s hard to imagine that Economy Candy omits any kind of candy known to humankind — including some brands that you would have thought had been extinct for decades. They just pile ’em high and watch ’em fly.

True to its name, Economy Candy prides itself on its low prices. But it is this singular focus on just one thing, and taking it to its insanely wonderful extreme, that makes Economy Candy so special. Starbucks would do well to a look at Economy Candy as it considers how to get back to where it once belonged.

Two other things are worth noting about Economy Candy. One is that it is so obviously family run. It’s been that way since 1937. The young guy at the register calls out to his dad, and a customer asks him, “Where’s your mom today?” It gives off a great, friendly, heartfelt vibe.

The other thing about Economy Candy is the smell, which can be described in just one word: Sugar.

Oh, and one more thing. On a Sunday afternoon, the place was jammed with customers. Retail as media, indeed.

You can visit Economy Candy online here.