Home > Big box, elections, Eureka California > Don’t turn Eureka into “Any Mall, USA”

Don’t turn Eureka into “Any Mall, USA”

[Guest post by Tom Peters.]

Wherever we live, we like to feel that our location has a unique identity that makes it different from anyplace else. In the case of California, we’re ‘The West Coast,’  or ‘The Sunshine State.’ Humboldt County is ‘Redwood Country’.  Eureka is a ‘Victorian Seaport.’

Most of us develop a strong connection to the uniqueness of the place we live whether it’s special places like parks or beaches or districts like Old Town or Henderson Center. It may even include certain businesses like Shafer’s, the Co-op, or Carl Johnson’s. All of these things make our place special and unique and help us to identify it as ‘home.’

Have you ever heard anyone identify with a WalMart or a Home Depot in describing their community? Big Box stores are, by their very nature, generic and rootless. They belong to no community, striving to be all the same everywhere they exist. They do not promote a sense of community. They do not create unique buildings or offer goods tailored to community needs. They exist only to serve their nameless anonymous masters, not their communities.

It should follow that if we want the place we live to be unique, to provide a sense of belonging and identification, to include businesses serving our local needs, that we would do well to avoid Big Box retail development whenever possible. We have already lost much to these generic stores. When Bayshore Mall was built, identical to every other mall built by General Growth, we lost such community icons as Bistrin’s, Daly’s, McGarraghan’s, and Arthur Johnson’s. Somehow I do not feel better served by Target or Pier 1. I do not see them as part of our community. They are just branches of something else from somewhere else.

Eureka is fortunate to have a widely varied and beautiful stock of buildings and houses. It still has a number of special local businesses that cater to local needs. Building more Big Box stores will destroy many of these businesses. What will be left? Will it be a special community, one that you would be glad to identify as your home? Or would it look just like the Hilltop Mall in Redding or one in Santa Rosa or Bakersfield or anywhere? What would you have left to identify with?

A sense of place — a unique special home — is becoming rare in the era of mass retail. We are still fortunate enough to live in a place that hasn’t lost it all yet. It is our duty to our selves, our homes, our communities, and our very sense of identity as Eurekans, to resist huge impersonal retailers. We must not let them turn Eureka into ANYPLACE — or ANY MALL, USA. If we do, we will lose our homes and our places in the world. We will be adrift in the nameless, faceless world of mass marketing with nowhere to call our own.

  1. Measure N Now
    October 29, 2010 at 6:17 am

    So I guess you’re voting “no” on Measure N, while 70%+ of the rest of us voters will be voting “yes”.

    That’s why we are all entitled to our opinions in this great democracy we call the USA.

  2. Ne'er-do-well
    October 29, 2010 at 6:48 am

    Great points Tom. The posse running things in Fortuna are trying their hardest to make this happen at the old Palco mill site. They are hoping that a few of these outlet stores bunched together will make a mall that will draw in the shop-o tourist. They just passed the water rate increase a few years ago that Eureka is still trying to back away from. Dean Glasser, the man that brought you the God plaque on the city council chamber wall has made it part of his platform. Not one incumbent on that council voted against that blatant violation of church and state. I likes my God and you better damn well too. The thought around Curmudgeonville is that the tax revenue generated by all the shopaholics just dying to race around for that blue light special will bail out the city’s finances by trickling down shoppers to the mom and pops. I haven’t seen a whole lot of trickle down since Saint Reagan proposed it as part of his voodoo economics. Seen a lot of trickle up though. These outlet store malls demand a shit load of tax concessions/incentives just to locate in your area, further shrinking the tax base and forcing more of the tax burden for infrastructure on the local, aging, often on fixed income tax payer. Yup, there will be winners and there will be losers. Decide wisely when your politicians offer you the pie in the sky. Make sure you get a glass of milk with it.

  3. Devil's Advocate
    October 29, 2010 at 7:25 am

    They do not promote a sense of community.

    Big boxes promote a sense of community on a regional or national scale. If you regularly communicate with people outside Humboldt County, invariably the subject of something you recently bought may come up, and a connection is made that yes, this other person has the same resource in his community. There is a shared experience.

    Oh Betty, there’s a beautiful harvest moon out tonight.

    I know Clara; I’m looking at it outside my window right now. It’s wonderful.

    (I just added that last bit to make you throw up in your mouth a little.)

  4. Mitch
    October 29, 2010 at 7:32 am

    Not to mention that malls provide a wonderful indoor walking space for our seniors. Why do you hate old people, Tom Peters?

  5. Reality Check
    October 29, 2010 at 7:38 am

    It’s amazing that it’s necessary to bash Tom Peters when his sentiment is about strengthening our community. I guess the goal is to turn Eureka into Redding-all those old people are so healthy in Redding because they have half empty malls to walk in.

  6. Mitch
    October 29, 2010 at 7:43 am

    I guess Reality Check also hates our beloved seniors.

  7. Devil\'s Advocate
    October 29, 2010 at 7:44 am

    As a Redding expat, I can tell you the singles\’ scene there is awash in muscular middle-age widows and widowers whose spouses were anti-big box activists who spent all their time complaining on blogs instead of exercising in malls.

  8. "HENCHMAN OF JUSTICE"
    October 29, 2010 at 7:48 am

    Fortuna’s Planning Commission also seems in disarray….and then the city council passes with rubber stamp and ink anyways, so the process was not really a process if you take into account the most recent testimonial of the Fortuna City Planning Commission Chair. Meetings are not that important it appears, as many months whiz on by in a deafening manner.

    For those who understand the importance of a process being PURE, it is painful to understand the hidden inside interests that every community aywhere has, Humboldt County not aside. It is more than apparant that increasingly, local government and its associated processes (run by connected insiders) are aligning against the citizenry in order to manufacture a tax base for collection purposes, additional power with standing as well.

    Remember, the voters in majority for Fortuna voted for their reps and rep’s reps.

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  9. Mitch
    October 29, 2010 at 7:50 am

    Before things get too far out of hand, I must confess that I was looking for the lamest pro-mall argument I could think of. I didn’t expect to be taken seriously.

  10. Walt
    October 29, 2010 at 8:05 am

    Maybe they should repave the mall with cinders and stripe it to attract the younger fitness crowd. Start running Kohl’s to Borders marathons. . .Mitch, you’re a genius!

  11. Mitch
    October 29, 2010 at 8:10 am

    Your Bayshore Mall

    fewer toxics. fewer stores.

  12. High Finance
    October 29, 2010 at 8:31 am

    “Community icons, like Bistrin’s, Daly’s, McGarragan’s, and Arthur Johnson’s”

    Methinks Tom & others remember those days with rose colored glasses. I remember high prices. I remember a downtown that closed at 5.30pm on weekdays, open only 10am to 4pm on Saturdays & closed on Sundays. I remember limited selections. I remember shopping trips to Santa Rosa in August and November for school & Christmas large purchases to take advantage of the much lower prices down there.

    Some want to hold on to the way things are & not change, but change happens, progress happens whether you’re ready or not. Some want to stop Home Depot today. The old timers wanted to stop the Bayshore Mall & K-Mart back in the 80’s. Before them some were trying to stop the Eureka Mall back in the 60’s and stop Henderson Center in the 50’s. Tom’s grandparents wanted to keep the horse & buggy era & keep those noisy, smelly cars out.

    I understand Tom’s sentiment & longing for the good old days. I too sometimes wish for the days long past when people didn’t need to lock their front doors, Redwood Acres Fair was the social event of the year & people attended plays at the Ingomar Theater. Sometimes I want to trade in my BMW for a ’57 Chevy.

    But this is still a free world & people are allowed to shop where they please. The fact is for every Tom there is 99 Dick, Harry & Janes who like shopping at Malls. Most people around today weren’t here when Bistrin’s & Arthur Johnson’s closed. They don’t want to hold on to the old & they look forward to the new.

    In the not-to-distant future, people will be lamenting the demise of the malls & the rise of internet shopping. Its just the way life is. Change or stagnate.

  13. Anonymous
    October 29, 2010 at 8:50 am

    Mitch, you haven’t been inside the mall on a weekday morning. It *is* a community resource filled with people using it as a dry, safe place to walk, with a special contingent of elderly and pregnant walkers.

  14. Heidi
    October 29, 2010 at 8:54 am

    Eureka’s identity is beautiful and unique, right now it is a little masked. The idealogical stratification so obvious during election season serves to separate us from our common goal of vital sustainable community. Reclaiming our identity is our to be had. It was not long ago when travelers identified Eureka as “oh that place that stinks” (but boy we sold them a lot of water).

    I have faith that with a council that listens to the people and people with vision engaged, that we are embarking on a journey of preservation and revitalization that will help Eurekans work together to embrace who we are, stabilize our local economy, look to the future, embrace our history, appreciate the natural beauty, and breath life back into the spirit of this Victorian seaport.

    Thank you for your column Tom.
    Heidi Benzonelli

  15. Mitch
    October 29, 2010 at 8:58 am

    OK, 8:50. My bad. Failed and dumb attempt at humor.

    I’d like to think that the community could come up with alternate free indoor walking resources, but I confess I don’t see it happening. So I shouldn’t have belittled the mall’s contribution.

  16. Vote Xandra
    October 29, 2010 at 9:04 am

    this is why we should vote for Xandra Manns!

  17. Heidi
    October 29, 2010 at 9:13 am

    If you want Mike Newman elected!

  18. Anonymous
    October 29, 2010 at 9:14 am

    Went to purchase a book on a Monday through North Town Books. Shopping local is important. They didn’t have it in store. It needed to be rushed for a student’s class project. We had them order it. It was promised it would be there on Friday. Went to the store on Friday. It wasn’t there. They said it would arrive on Wednesday. It didn’t. We were told they needed a minimum order to place with the book distributor. Cancelled our order. Went to Borders. They ordered it and they SHIPPED it to our home within 48 hours. Love North Town Books. Purchased many books there. But, Borders came through. There is a place for both. Compete or die. Winco bagels or Los Bagels. The choice is yours.

  19. anon
    October 29, 2010 at 9:17 am

    Yes! vote Neely and Glass, keep jobs out of Eureka!

  20. Heidi
    October 29, 2010 at 9:20 am

    You are typing on a choice.

  21. A-Nony-Mouse
    October 29, 2010 at 9:29 am

    Good post. But again HiFi misses the point entirely (well, almost entirely, anyway). ‘progress’ and ‘change’ don’t necessarily mean giving in to the lowest common denominator. We can develop a workable community without the depersonalization of the Big Box mentality. The choice is ours. Are all local businesses perfect? Hell no but I’d much rather deal with someone I know than a faceless corporation in some distant place. Ever work with, one of the big banks? I sold a house once, paid it off, and had the escrow final papers in my hand. The bank sent me threatening letters for 5 months, claiming I was in arears and they were going to foreclose. Every time I’d call I’d get someone different. Now I deal locally (credit union) so I can go in and talk face to face with the boss. Get it? It’s a different paradigm.

  22. Steve
    October 29, 2010 at 9:40 am

    Great article Tom. The problem is a lot of people prefer to buy cheap shit from China. Some people are even addicted to buying a bunch of crap they don’t need. I prefer quality products and yes, they cost more but my one higher priced item will last longer than your 3 or 4 disposable items and come out costing about the same in the end. I could give examples but those who understand do and those who do not, never will.

  23. The Monitor
    October 29, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Jobs, jobs, jobs, everyone wants the same thing, almost. There are skilled, semi-skilled, and jobs that don’t require a lot of education. The money paid goes with the skill and education level needed to do the job. What we need are more skilled jobs and semi-skilled. We have a plethora of retail in Eureka and these jobs are primarily on the low end of the economic scale. One way to get a better balance in our jobs market is to court manufacturing by building a an industrial park. With that in place we can start looking bore business of that caliber. That is what Arcata has done, as well as limiting national retail and food chains which pay low wages. There are smaller Tech companies, medical devices, all kinds of areas to looking into. Why look for more and more retail, which compete with many local business? We need to get smart on how to proceed, not just look for the easy way. Don’t think small.

  24. nimby
    October 29, 2010 at 10:15 am

    During recent negotiations with management at Bayshore Mall they told us that they are in serious negotiations with Home Depot to develop the former Gottschalks site. They also said they are working on a deal to put a Best Buy in the space occupied by the food court, the former theater, and surrounding stores. They said they are also talking with TG Max and Lowes (and possibly aliens from another planet). This would move the food court next to Borders. The idea being to shift the Mall towards more of a Big Box business park. They also said they would provide build-out funds to move our store and others affected by this deal. Unlike many previous conversations with management about potential development at the Mall, they seemed to be very excited and optimistic about these potential deals becoming a reality. They asked us to keep this in the strictest confidence, so please don’t tell anyone;)

  25. High Finance
    October 29, 2010 at 10:50 am

    Nimby is showing you want I was talking about Mouse.

    Change is coming whether you want it or not. Your “lowest common denominator” might not be someone else’s opinion of those businesses. That local bank, that local business ‘s prices are probably higher than B of A or Sears.

    Remember & respect the past but embrace & welcome change. Pierson’s & Schaffer’s will survive & do well even after Home Depot arrives.

  26. Greg
    October 29, 2010 at 10:58 am

    Heidi writes a good letter. We need more like her.

  27. A-Nony-Mouse
    October 29, 2010 at 11:28 am

    Change for change sake is a fallacy. It’s good to change your shorts but not your skin. Change is not inherently good. It is up to us to direct change to find the positive aspects while rejecting the negative.

    Bayshore Mall is damn lucky to be standing at all after the January earthquake. There was far more damage than was reported. They didn’t want to spook us. It was permitted by a council that looked hard the other way. It could have been a beautiful building with thematic redwood and interesting archetecture. Instead it looks like an extension of Pelican Bay. It all comes down to making decisions that make our town a better place, not just another place. It takes work, HiFi, but think about where you live a little bit. If you really love that corporate anonimity, please feel free to move to one of the many examples of nowhere that are everywhere.

    If I’m talking with an out-of-town friend, I don’t compare notes about how our towns are exactly the same. I talk about the unique aspects of our town that might convince my friend to visit and see something different. As Tom said above, we still have many treasures that make us unique but we’re trying our damndest to destroy them as fast as we can. Once we’re done, what’ll we have then?

  28. A-Nony-Mouse
    October 29, 2010 at 11:33 am

    And you’re right, HiFi. I DON’T want another pile of cheap chinese crap in my back yard, my neighborhood, or my city. NIMBY? You’re damn right. There are reasons for it that keep my city a place people want to live and treasure. So you’d trade that for what? Cheap chinese sox? And with the nickel you saved, you could buy even more cheap chinese crap? You’ve really got it down, HF. What a fine world you’re building.

  29. Flap Yappers
    October 29, 2010 at 11:34 am

    Life is change, High Finance, true enough. But your argument makes this discussion a choice between rose-colored glasses about the past and blinders about the future. Throwing your arms open to any and all change for the sake of “embracing” it is foolhardy. No, I don’t want to be held for ransom by small local businesses, but I don’t want my hometown raped by anonymous big box, low-wage pillagers, either. Eureka once had a trolley line that ran all over town–like San Francisco. The powers that be opted to blindly “embrace change” by tearing up the tracks and burning a beautiful trolley car. Whoopee! We’re modern! Trolleys and streetcars are still a functional and unique part of San Francisco life, because they chose to make careful choices, with an eye to their future and the long-term impact of their current decisions. You deride those who resisted the Bayshore Mall. Been down there lately? Sad. Whatever. Americans love buying lots and lots and lots of cheap crap. We’ll sell our souls for cheap flip-flops.

  30. Plain Jane
    October 29, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Conservatives love big corporations. They want the country owned and run by big corporations. Corporations are, of course, fascist by design.

  31. Ne'er-do-well
    October 29, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Where are you going with this Jane? Next you’ll be calling HiFi a fascist!

  32. Reinventing The Wheel
    October 29, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    Well done Tom.

    “Ne’re Do Well” (above) was near poetic.

    Claiming that another big box is “change” or “progress” in a city saturated in them is pretty damn stupid. Foil-hat advocates of “change” that drive BMW’s need to check out the newest models. The chassis, and many of Germany’s plastics, are being replaced with soy beans that biodegrade in one year.

    THAT’S progress, THAT’S change.

    Unfortunately, it’s just too “hippie” for our local Einsteins driving their BMW’s…

    A first year finance student understands the importance of diversification, just as a 9 year-old Cub Scout understands self-reliance.

    Nevertheless, Eureka’s City leaders tried hard to level Old Town years ago in the name of progress, and they would have succeeded if they had investors. Today, cities across America are trying to replace, rebuild and expand their Old Towns.

    Any number of catalysts will inevitably, and probably very soon, mark the end of cheap oil. Joe Public that once celebrated his $8 hair-drier that now costs $25, (but is still engineered to fail), will be ecstatic that we maintained our small town ingenuity, diversification, manufacturing incubators and industrial parks.

    In Arcata.

  33. wurking stiff
    October 29, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    “cheap crap from China” is creating a permanent un-employed class in this country of former manufacturing and other skilled and semi-skilled workers that used to able to earn a family wage in the USA. Now the American Way is devolved into a ponzi scheme of wall street bankers and giant energy companies gaming us all into semi-serfdom and debtor nation status to China… all in exchange for “cheap crap”.

    Time for this country to invest in itself and that investment should start at home. Big box and chain stores ALWAYS mean the profits of an enterprise are shipped out to some corporate HQ somewhere else. There goes the multiplier effect of local profits recirculating. Anyone who imagines that this is good for the local economy is clearly arithmetically challenged.

    Big Box Malls = Dogs Eating Dogs; a cannibalistic ritual of selling out your own community for fleeting “savings” on “cheap crap from China”.

  34. Not A Native
    October 29, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    Tom’s posting started out just fine in the first two paragraphs but then diverged into a screed with some incorrect facts. General Growth didn’t build Bayshore mall. That bothers me because I think a writer who’s sloppy with facts is likely to be sloppy in reasoning too.

    Anyway, we’ve got the Coast Guard, National Guard, and many other nationally standardized institutions here, but no one says they detract from whats ‘local’. and we all(?) see and display the American Flag and other symbols and realities that are in every other place and make us part of the state and nation. Our fourth of July and Thanksgiving observenaces are identical to most every other place in the country. They don’t detract from our localism either. So, national/state identity doesn’t detract from localism, as I see it. Localism is just a piece of how we live here, an American Way of Life. I put that in caps because it is a particular thing that people from other countries can readily sense.

    I’m not in favor of a big box store on the balloon track simply becuase I think its not the best way to benefit the community, and the public has some rights to limit land owners’ use of their properties.

    If Fortuna decides to allow a shopping mall on the closed mill site, I think that would be a better location than the balloon track. I don’t know that Fortuna should do that. But I wouldn’t object to Fortuna making that choice because I think there are many similar properties that are just as suitable for any other use that the mill site could be used for. That doesn’t apply to the balloon tract, IMO.

  35. Plain Jane
    October 29, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    Isn’t that what they call people who want corporatists in control, Ne’er? HiFi has made his ideology clear.

  36. My Two Cents
    October 29, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    Tom Peters for City Council!

  37. anonymous
    October 29, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    yeah great post…i get all warm and fuzzy over the balloon track (my home)-you know its a lot better now with a fence around it! no one bothers us, kids cant park here and make out anymore throwing their beer bottles all over the place but me and my buddies figured out where they do throw bottles because we believe in recycling! keep up the good work because all us so called bums deserve this cozy place and there isnt a lot of choice for free living bums to camp around here. Go Bonnie!! you had us purty scart when you was gonna build a jail right down here on the homeboys turf!

  38. Thomas Paine Jr.
    October 29, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    Thats all well and good, but what about when you cant get a toilet lock to protect you baby at ANY local hardware store and are forced to buy it on the internet.

  39. A-Nony-Mouse
    October 29, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    NAN, I’m pretty sure General Growth did build (or had built) the Bayshore Mall. They certainly run it. It’s a ringer for their mall in Bellingham, WA. I’ve been told (and I can’t verify) that they would not allow stores into the Bellingham Mall (very much in demand, apparently) unless they would agree to open here as well. Many of those original stores are gone, another indicator of sound business plans (NOT!).
    Whatever the truth is there , the Mall could have been attractive using local redwood and maybe brick or stone. It could have been a tourist draw instead of another…ho-hum…eyesore. That’s what I mean about choosing our change. If we don’t choose it, we’ll just end up as another bump in the national junkpile.

  40. Matt
    October 29, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    “Pierson’s & Schaffer’s will survive & do well even after Home Depot arrives.”

    No. Pierson’s will survive but will probably have to cut back on staff. Shafer’s will be gone.

  41. nimby
    October 30, 2010 at 8:53 am

    Schafers will survive without a doubt. They are a neighborhood hardware store with a selection geared directly to their customers needs.

  42. nimby
    October 30, 2010 at 9:12 am

    People act like Home Depot has great prices and service. It just simply is not true. I am guilty of driving to Santa Rosa to get “great deals” on the materials I needed for a remodel. When I arrived at home depot I found a poor selection, no service, and only slightly better prices. I ended up purchasing more of the items I needed at Friedman Brothers(an independently owned lumber and hardware store). I realized that most of what I needed was right here at Piersons and the prices are not that much higher, they reflect the level of service that you receive. I believe in the free market system. When a major national chain opened up several locations in Eureka in direct competition to my local business everyone asked me if I was scared. I was not scared, just determined to remind my customers why they should choose me over my competitor.

  43. Anonymous
    October 30, 2010 at 9:44 am

    General Growth did build the Bayshore Mall. Bayshore Mall is a “C” grade mall and the more profitable malls in larger locations are “A” grade malls. If a store wants to get into an “A” grade mall they oftentimes are forced to open a store in a “C” mall. This is how Gen. Growth keeps their lower performing malls full with tenants. So, what this means is that a lot of stores that come to Bayshore Mall only do so because they want to put a store in somewhere else.

  44. Anonymous
    October 30, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Well, what sells here enough to keep a store open? As far as mall merchandise is concerned, apparently we can’t support A grade stores in the manner to which they are accustomed.

  45. High Finance
    October 30, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    The Bayshore Mall may be a “C” grade mall but not because of its construction quality but because of the small population area it was put in.

    It is silly to suggest spending a fortune on Redwood & stone asthetics when it is barely getting by financially as it is. I question the financial judgement of anybody who seriously suggests such a thing.

  46. Big Al
    October 30, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    It should get a low construction grade, I was advised by my civil engineer father-in-law not to spend any extra time hanging around in the mall, especially in the food court area.
    Construction was happening so quickly there was insufficient time for inspections.
    I observed Sears still installing additional structural steel on opening day…

  47. Anonymous
    October 30, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    Sears opened up almost a year after the Bayshore Mall opened. It was Phase 2 of the mall. Also, it doesn’t matter how fast construction was taking place, there were still proper inspections done.

    And for the record, I would much rather be standing in the middle of the Bayshore mall during an earthquake than in any of those ancient, rotting, poorly constructed structures in downtown Eureka.

  48. FoxStudio
    October 30, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    Anon. at 9:44 is correct about the Bayshore Mall. The only reason at least some of the well-known national retailers have put stores there is because they were forced to if they wanted prime locations. That’s why they’ve closed within a few years, because the lease was up and they could boogie.

    Also, it is my understanding, from back when I was involved in Eureka Main Street, that General Growth has had the mall for sale since it was built, which is apparently also common practice. It is a “C” grade mall because of the type of retailers that are there, as opposed to malls like Willow Pass or Sun Valley in Concord.

  49. The Monitor
    October 30, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    I am sure glad hifi is not my financial adviser. Anon 9:04, Yep, I would sure stay away from those downtown buildings that have managed to stay upright for over a hundred years. They have withstood enough major quakes over the years that would have toppled lesser structures. The lesser structures may very well include the Bayshore Mall. If I see someone in Old Town wearing a hard hat I’ll know who it is.

  50. Heidi
    October 30, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    Tom McMurray developed the Bayshore Mall property for General Growth I think it was 86 or 87

  51. Benny
    October 31, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    I think at this point people don’t care where the jobs come from. We just want more jobs!

  52. Matt
    October 31, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    “Schafers will survive without a doubt. They are a neighborhood hardware store with a selection geared directly to their customers needs.”

    Yeah – just like the neighborhood clothing store McGharagins and the neighborhood grocery store Food Mart survived.

  53. Un-Named
    October 31, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    Hilson’s, Pop’s, Goody Hut, Spike’s Bikes, Margarita’s, L&L Groceries, ALL the local video stores, ALL the local music stores, almost every single local thrift shops, more homegrown stores than I can remember right now off the top of my head even…all gone from my own childhood local as soon as walmart and starbucks and blockbuster and target moved to the area.

  54. Un-Named
    October 31, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    …they had been successful for decades, preceding me.

  55. nimby
    October 31, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    Hey Matt, its easy to picked a failed business and blame it on competition. But there are plenty of local companies that thrive despite major competition. Using your examples I could mention the neighborhood clothing stores Picky Picky picky or Great Western and the grocery stores Murphys and Eureka Natural foods that have succeeded because they take their competition seriously and do a better job of serving their customers needs.

  56. Un-Named
    October 31, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    sure, nimby, except issue isn’t and has never been “count the small number of survivors” but the other way around.

  57. Un-Named
    October 31, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    …the two goldfish in my tank are doing great…except there used to be fifteen in there before I put a pirahna in with em. Richardson Grove is totally thriving, unless you’re a hundred years old in which case it looks like a splinter of its former self…etc. etc. etc.

  58. Matt
    November 2, 2010 at 2:57 am

    “Hey Matt, its easy to picked a failed business and blame it on competition. But there are plenty of local companies that thrive despite major competition.”

    Be that as it may, my point is simply that Shafer’s won’t survive with Home Depot in town. You believe that I am wrong and that it will survive. There’s really no way to know until it actually happens, so until then, neither of us are right or wrong – it’s just all speculation.

    In 10 years, we can both meet back here and discuss what went on, and one of us will be able to say “I told you so”.

    Until then – :)

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