Sep 25, 2002 — When Ames Department Stores close their doors for good in a dozen North Country communities later this fall, they'll leave behind a retail void. Small town residents will have to drive to larger towns to find everyday goods from socks to Christmas lights to dish drainers. Many areas are scrambling to find other retailers to fill the gap - the so-called "big boxes" like Target or Walmart. The village of Potsdam is one such place. But in the meanwhile, it's using college students to do market research to help local stores fill the Ames niche and keep shoppers close to home. David Sommerstein reports.