Villa: A Bright Spot in the Retail Gloom

While most retailers are suffering, Villa has held up relatively well, in part because its customers never got hooked on easy credit

It's late morning in the Villa store on Penn St., the main drag in downtown Reading, Pa., and Alex Rodriguez, a 21-year-old construction worker dressed all in black from his Sox baseball cap to his Nike (NKE) ACG boots, has a huge smile on his face. Rodriguez has just laid down $150 for a pair of Air Jordan Ring 6 basketball shoes—white with shiny black patent leather sides. He'll add it to the collection of 35 pairs of Air Jordan shoes he keeps on display in his apartment like so many museum pieces. "Some people collect cars. I collect Jordans," he says.

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