Wickford Village: Hip or Historical?


Emilia Cormier, Staff Writer

Wickford Village is a historic site in North Kingstown. It was built in the 18th century, and many of the attractions and businesses reflect the time period of the village’s origins. 

The town is historically one full of tourism. One of the busiest seasons for Wickford is the summer. With the newly added Wickford walks and guides, navigating through the town has never been easier. The town is full of establishments meant for tourists; from oceanic-themed artisan shops to seafood restaurants, such attractions are expected for the seaside historic village. 

Though these types of shops hold the town together for the tourist season, there are not many stores aimed towards the local people, specifically teenagers. Wickford Middle School and North Kingstown High School are both within walking distance of the village, thus students often travel to Wickford after school. Given this information, should the village become more geared towards local teenagers who visit frequently, or the tourists/older crowds who visit once a year?

Once again, few businesses in Wickford are targeted towards the youth of North Kingstown. The many clothing stores and boutiques host a variety of beautifully crafted objects and clothing items, but their styles are more mature. Yet there are some businesses that cater to younger citizens of the town. Del’s Lemonade is in the heart of the town over the summer. Kids get food at some of the restaurants and buy candy at the pharmacy. Even with all of these establishments in place, many teenagers are left wanting more.

Recently, a few new stores have been introduced to the village, including a vegan deli and juice bar and a smoothie/protein drink shop. These stores incorporate a modern look that appeals to the younger audiences of the town. Unfortunately, the products and services in these stores are not geared towards these younger citizens.

The stores in town do not necessarily need to change in order to capitalize on this audience. Perhaps the current establishments present in Wickford should look into innovative solutions to engage in the interests of the youth in North Kingstown. Shops could gain the loyalty of students by introducing a market they can afford, and by promoting specific items that may be more of interest. They could even create specials for students, creating a more inviting environment for them in these stores. Such ideas would result in a win-win scenario, where stores are further promoted by the positive experiences of kids in the community.