MUSKEGON, MICH. – A number of large national retailers are struggling to survive. There is a growing list of chains cutting or closing stores including MC Sports, Kmart, Sears and Radio Shack.

In Muskegon, signs of micro-retail began arriving Monday, March 27, along the city’s main downtown street.

City leaders believe for now, small retail might be big for their downtown. “Nine different designs,” said Tim Harvey, City of Muskegon Special Projects Coordinator.

City workers moved the first of 12 retail chalets to a designated spot on Western Avenue. Others chalets will soon follow the first one.

Harvey has been building the 90 to 150 square feet mini-retail structures since December at the city’s Department of Public Works yard.

“It’s out by the highway so they got a little bit of a travel to bring them down her,” he said. “Maybe an hour at the most to get them here.”

Harvey watched as a large dozer lifted the first chalet from a trailer to a level spot along Western Avenue. He still has a big task ahead. Most of the chalets still need siding, and roofing. Harvey needs to finish them all by late April so small retailers from the Muskegon area can add their flair to the small space.

“They feel a little roomier inside than you would think,” Harvey said.

The micro-retail space will open to customers in early May.

The city is modeling the one block stretch on Western Avenue from First to Second streets after similar micro retail markets and malls in big cities like Boston and…