"IT'S AMAZING WHAT WAL-MART DOES TO A TOWN."
Two items caught me in today's Bulletin. (I'm not sure this blog could exist without the Bulletin blogfodder.)
The first, of course, was that Erickson's Thriftway is closing after half a century.
Probably a good time to mention....and oh, by the way.... the mass market is winning, has won, is a giant anaconda squeezing the life out small town business.
But wait, you might say, aren't you an example of a survivor?
I direct you to the first five words in the title of my blog. Go on, read them...
The second thing that caught my attention was the two women buying 800.00 worth of clothing at the Old Mill. (Banana Republic). This is above my daily sales average, folks. We are small potatoes. We are a mouse skittering between the cracks, hoping the snake will go after the rabbit, instead.
What I find amusing is that Walmart spends most of the article about Erickson's denying they have anything to do with it.
Yeah, and Blockbuster had nothing to do with almost all the indy video stores disappearing.
Yeah, and Barnes and Noble had nothing to do with 3 out of 4 existing indy bookstores closing.
Yeah, and Best Buy had nothing to do with Boomtown closing.
This is where the mass market defenders jump up and say, yeah, but what about the internet, what about Netflix, what about downlowding, what about Amazon? Major factors, I don't deny. But without the Mass Market, they still would have had a chance.
My wife and I skipped Christmas this year, for the first time. We make these kinds of vows every year, but then I catch her buying something anyway and I go out and get something and she goes out and gets something.
We got a single, not overly expensive item for each of our family members here in town. That was it.
I, personally, just don't need anything, and if I need anything, I'll go buy it.
Anyway, back to Ericksons.
There is a kind of feeling floating around that those of us who are anti-Walmart, anti-big-corporate store come to town and crush the competition, have a do-gooder political agenda that defies the facts.
I submit to you that it is the opposite. The Walmart defenders are denying the facts. The facts are, mega-stores crush the competition.
There are hard-working locals losing their jobs, why do you deny it? Sure Walmart may have created 30 jobs to take the place of the 30 lost jobs at Ericksons. But the money at the top is going to Arkansas, folks. And the two owners of the Gibbs Bakery are also self-employed. So the grandfather and grandmother Gibbs lose their bakery -- so what, I can get my cottage cheese .50 cheaper at Walmart?
Almost everyone's doing it. No, has done it. Because I really believe the battle is over, it's just mopping up operations.
Like I said, Walmart spends almost the entire article denying it is their fault, but I'll let the people at Erickson's have the last word:
Manager Adam White...."saw the writing on the wall when the 217,896 square-foot Wal-Mart Supercenter opened Sept. 19 and his sales started to slip.
"It's taken enough that we're not going broke,but we're not making any money," White said. (Italics, mine.) "It's amazing what Walmart does to a town."
2 days ago