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Old 02-02-2012, 02:59 PM
 
Location: Mayacama Mtns in CA
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^^ I'd still like an answer
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Old 02-02-2012, 04:30 PM
 
Location: Planet Eaarth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disneyrecords View Post
I live in a nice college town of 5200 in Western Minnesota. Life here is easy. Our community has an educated populace, an excellent hospital, some agribusiness, and a university. What we lack, however, is competitive shopping.

While many here on the forum decry the evils of big box retailing, our community overpays for groceries and clothing. Granted, the libertarian in me thinks that if I'm stupid to pay $4.75 a gallon for skim milk, so be it. In general, if the local grocery store wants to gouge me, I have no choice other than to travel an hour to the nearest community with more competition and retailing. My complaint is that our local retailers put pressure on the city leadership to keep competition out. That, I feel is wrong.

Having a protectorate economy doesn't seem to improve our downtown district. We've lost many of the mom and pop stores. Most everyone travels out of the county to the nearest shopping hub to "stock up."

We live without a Wal-Mart or large grocery store; are we any better off?
At what point are indepedent merchants taking advantage of their customers? Is it fair that merchants have enough clout to keep big box retailers out? By having Wal-Mart in your community, you don't even have to trade there to receive the effects of competition.
It is more normal that you think to "stock up" in the fashion of the old farming economy of the recent past. Big box stores caused the mom and pop stores to die off due to cheap gasoline prices that supported a car mobile society.

The wheel turns once again back to a lifestyle that is more normal and sustainable.
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Old 02-02-2012, 06:05 PM
 
Location: Cody, WY
9,786 posts, read 11,271,488 times
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Originally Posted by Macrina View Post
^^ I'd still like an answer
I'm not sure if anyone here really knows. To me it depends upon the size of the store. I consider Walmart to be a big box store; but most people in my local store are there for their groceries.

On the other hand, StealthRabbit is foaming and fulminating about clothing stores.

I'm happy with any definition; but there really should be a concensus on its definition within this thread.
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Old 02-04-2012, 04:41 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
23,492 posts, read 41,085,731 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Macrina View Post
^^ I'd still like an answer
Sure, Grocery can be included, (Even Dollar Stores if you like) if a conglomerate / volume buyer positions itself to systematically destroy the economy / culture of a small town, due to an unreasonable capitalistic drive to satisfy its shareholders, while leaving the local town in ruins. (brick and mortar + salaries + business investment). The margins in the grocery business is very slim. 3-5%

It is all relative to market access and size, and if the proposed benefit outweighs the harm to community. Not every dinky town is gonna get a big box, as their site selection staff is looking for the biggest win, and a location that will sustain adequate revenues to meet their business model. For some places it is a win:win, for others, that is not the case. Economic cycles will work this out, but it is painful through the process. It is most likely the 'Big-Box physical presence' is about to be usurped by 'online', especially in rural America. While you can't buy heavy commodities like cement blocks very efficiently online, Home Depot can work out a deal for you, that if they can consolidate loads and you can wait till next Tuesday, your blocks will arrive at your doorstep.

Some small towns have thrived with the addition of BigBox (usually border towns or Hubs of commerce). This used to be the case with railroads and grain elevators. If there are more reasons to come to a town, you will frequent the most efficient location.

No Big Box Stores-- pros and cons? Not the right solution for all. Walmart does not have cheap groceries; in our neighborhood Winco does (employee owned BigBox) I shop there for commodity and bulk foods (bags of stuff), but buy the majority of my FRESH food from local producers / stores. I have always fed my family on <$100/month, so no own is killing the fat hog on my spending. I have my favorite lumber yards that I buy supplies from, and have never bothered having Home Depot quote one of my lumber packages for a house / building. They have plenty of customers, and don't need me. I NEED the personalized service from my local lumber yard. More importantly I NEED them to BE THERE.
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Old 02-04-2012, 08:43 PM
 
Location: Not where you ever lived
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I live in a small community in Illinois where I am 50 miles from any large box store. The only reason I every set foot in those stores - which isn't very ofent -is because I can't find what I need locally. With the current cost of gasoline it doesn't pay me to drive 100 miles for toilet paper. But it does for electronics and computer supplies as there is none closer.

This is not to say we don't have a locally owned franchisee like ACE Hardware because we do. We have happily co-existed for over 30 years in a town of about 2500. Today we have a total of twelve franchisees, of which five serve some type of convenience food, three sell clothing. and three serve the farming community. Most have been in town many, many years. We still have all the mom & pop business we ever did.

Business like Walmart won't come to small towns. Sometimes that in itself is not a bad deal. .
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Old 02-06-2012, 06:19 PM
 
Location: Planet Eaarth
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Originally Posted by linicx View Post
I live in a small community in Illinois where I am 50 miles from any large box store. The only reason I every set foot in those stores - which isn't very ofent -is because I can't find what I need locally. With the current cost of gasoline it doesn't pay me to drive 100 miles for toilet paper. But it does for electronics and computer supplies as there is none closer.
I also live in a small town In illinois but our business district is.......dead. It died along with all the jobs that left the area over the last 25 years.

To compensate I buy a lot online thus bring the world to my front door. That said, I will not drive to buy anything but food. Kinda reminds me of the heyday of the catalog Stores ,i.e. Sears,Penneys,& Montgomery ward, that supplied all of America via the mail ,or shipping company.
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Old 02-06-2012, 06:57 PM
 
Location: Cody, WY
9,786 posts, read 11,271,488 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandpa Pipes View Post
I also live in a small town In illinois but our business district is.......dead. It died along with all the jobs that left the area over the last 25 years.

To compensate I buy a lot online thus bring the world to my front door. That said, I will not drive to buy anything but food. Kinda reminds me of the heyday of the catalog Stores ,i.e. Sears,Penneys,& Montgomery ward, that supplied all of America via the mail ,or shipping company.
We're in agreement. Walmart and other large retailers are simply the current version of rational purchasing that Sears, etc. were a century ago.

We can be sure of change and more change. Right now, we're seeing Amazon and a number of other companies beginning to carry the same sorts of things Sears once did. The big difference is that deliveries are much easier today. UPS and USPS deliver to the door. A hundred years ago people who had to travel to a freight or express office.

The big problem now is the question of sales tax. The Constitution forbids internal tariffs; but the Constitution is no longer terribly important. The resolution of this problem will have lasting effects on retail sales.
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Old 02-12-2012, 09:10 AM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,178 posts, read 9,537,698 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Macrina View Post
For all those who have commented in this thread, when you say "Big Box Store" are you including grocery stores in the category?
I think that you are trying to determine if a 'chain' grocery store is considered a "Big Box" store.

Most people don't, but they are based the same principle.

Most grocery stores are not filled with local produce or foods. They are part of a chain - even if it is the Independent Grocers' Association - which buys in bulk and sells at retail in its outlets. I used to work for Wetterau Foods, and everyone from Red and White through IGA to the Mom and Pop groceries bought from us. Valentine's Day candy orders had to be placed in August, Christmas cookies had to be ordered in July, so that the orders could be passed thru our warehouse to the suppliers and vendors and be in stock in time to be shipped. Those "sale papers" you get every week were sales that were instigated by the warehouse ordering a large supply three months ago - the larger the order the cheaper the product, and those weekly sales brought in a lot of folks who would also buy their other items, as well as impulse items, since they were there anyway. These things are carefully structured, and as a retailer you would have to take them and do the sale - whether you wanted to or not. Otherwise you would not be able to get the things you wanted with any regularity. I frequently had to listen to my retail customers tell me at the warehouse that they didn't want to sell certain items and felt forced to do so, just to keep their regular deliveries coming in.

Smaller towns with smaller stores either cut a deal on mass-purchased items with full-fledged 'chain' grocery stores to carry certain products - or they go to the chain and buy what's on sale, and bring it back to their small community and try to sell it for slightly more, to keep the community supplied and to try to make a little profit. The Big trucks don't stop at every Mom and Pop along the way unless the Mom and Pop can guarantee enough weekly purchases to justify the extra time and mileage. If a Mom and Pop has to purchase 6 cases of, say, green beans to keep the truck coming, but they can't sell the green beans before their expiration date, they lose. Some customers in smaller towns are particular about brands and types, too - they won't buy ShureFine locally if, say, Green Giant is available at the IGA in a town 50 miles away. This impacts the local grocer, as a small store cannot stock everyone's preference, or they'll go broke. State and Federal laws about what can be sold in a store can severely limit a Mom and Pop from buying locally grown produce, eggs, and locally raised meats from an 'unknown' or non-State-certified source.

So, yes, chain grocery stores are based on the same principle as big-box stores, and can do as much damage to the Mom and Pop store model as Wal-Mart. Does that answer your question?
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Old 02-12-2012, 02:37 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
23,492 posts, read 41,085,731 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCGranny View Post
I think that you are trying to determine if a 'chain' grocery store is considered a "Big Box" store.

Most people don't, but they are based the same principle.

Most grocery stores are not filled with local produce or foods. They are part of a chain - even if it is the Independent Grocers' Association - ...

So, yes, chain grocery stores are based on the same principle as big-box stores, and can do as much damage to the Mom and Pop store model as Wal-Mart. Does that answer your question?
but... there is a BIG difference in the locally owned store being part of an 'IGA' type purchasing chain / franchise, vs a 'public traded grocery' opening a corporate owned storefront in your community.

Local business owners generally use local banks, accountants, employees, services AND their profit / community support stays local.

The profits of a corporation MUST flow to shareholders, who in turn, can elect officers to direct the benevolent spending / community support of the corporation on behalf of the wishes of ALL shareholders.

I work with and for national corporations everyday, they are not categorically bad. They just have a different set of marching orders than mom & pop. The Corps have a fiduciary duty to serve the shareholders. Mom&pop have a bit more latitude and empathy / dedication for the community that feeds them and grows / sustains their business and raises their kids.

Corp decisions are very B&W. They both have their place, just as we are each free to choose how we direct our spending.
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Old 02-13-2012, 12:26 AM
 
Location: Mayacama Mtns in CA
14,523 posts, read 7,678,834 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCGranny View Post
I think that you are trying to determine if a 'chain' grocery store is considered a "Big Box" store <snip>. . . .So, yes, chain grocery stores are based on the same principle as big-box stores, and can do as much damage to the Mom and Pop store model as Wal-Mart. Does that answer your question?
Yes, thank you, this helps.
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