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Old 02-13-2012, 12:38 AM
 
Location: Mayacama Mtns in CA
14,523 posts, read 7,680,391 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
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. <snip>

They both have their place, just as we are each free to choose how we direct our spending.
This is what I'm interested in knowing, and until recently I'd not thought about the grocery expenditures being included in the equation.

Thank you!

So, for me, it's worth it to drive a mile or so farther to support my local IGA.
I'm not against corporations, but do have the interest of keeping my spent dollars local whenever possible.
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Old 02-13-2012, 07:36 AM
 
Location: Columbia, California
6,663 posts, read 26,714,988 times
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We live in a small county.
I have seen Orchards, Wal-Mart and Lowes move in. Our town has a pop of 1800. County wide pop of probably 8000.
Each and every time a big box moves in the local merchants screamed and cried about small town values and support the small business.
Where was the support for the small town when they way over charged us for everything. They tried to charge me $20 for a $2 box of drywall mud. I love living in a small town, I have to say that for the most part the big box can force the small businesses to price accordingly for the community.
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Old 02-13-2012, 08:39 AM
 
Location: In a happy place
3,784 posts, read 7,045,715 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ferretkona View Post
We live in a small county.
I have seen Orchards, Wal-Mart and Lowes move in. Our town has a pop of 1800. County wide pop of probably 8000.
Each and every time a big box moves in the local merchants screamed and cried about small town values and support the small business.
Where was the support for the small town when they way over charged us for everything. They tried to charge me $20 for a $2 box of drywall mud. I love living in a small town, I have to say that for the most part the big box can force the small businesses to price accordingly for the community.
Are you sure it was a $2 box of drywall mud? I work at a building supply center (locally owned) and that box of drywall mud costs US much more that $2. Many times those big box places will have "loss leaders", items that they actually lose money on as an incentive to get people into the store with the intent of selling other items that have a higher markup.

I have already sold someone a 12" square piece of drywall or a 4" x 6" piece of plywood because that is all the larger piece that a person needs and we always have pieces that are available to get those out of. Try to go to the BigBox places and get a 14" long piece of 2 x 4 or base trim.
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Old 02-13-2012, 09:49 AM
 
1,430 posts, read 2,150,557 times
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In the grocery store argument, I find it tougher and more expensive to by your groceries local, in comparison to home goods.

FWIW, I try to grocery shop at regionally owned grocery stores. Not mom and pop per say, but still have a footprint in the community. When I was in western, MA I always tried to patronize Big Y vs. Stop and Shop and now in central ma, I try and go to Hanafords or Market basket vs. Shaws.
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Old 02-13-2012, 03:42 PM
 
25,691 posts, read 24,531,561 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCGranny View Post
We live in a small town (pop 145) and it is 40 miles to the nearest town where there is a "Main Street" shopping area. It is 2.5 hours to a town with a Wal-Mart.

Yes, some things are more expensive. But most of our 'local' Main Street shopowners not only are reasonably priced (it would cost us much more in gas to go to WalMart) but they do things like deliver large items for free, extend credit on just a handshake, special-order in products so that we don't have to pay shipping, do year-round layaway. They also stock more American-made and quality goods, and even cater to local craftspeople, especially those just starting businesses. They are involved in and concerned about their community, donate not only store items but their time and encourage their employees to do the same for town and county events. What's really great for us is that my DH does a lot of repair work for the local ranchers and businesspeople, and most of the items they have that are older you simply can't find parts for any more. The local shopowners will take the time to go back in the back and look. Two weeks ago one found a carbuerator for him - for a 1939 log-splitter! - sitting in the back on a dusty shelf. DH also trades work with the local hardware store for parts; they joke all the time about sending each other bills, but neither get around to it.

That sort of service and concern for their customers is quickly becoming a thing of the past, as everyone wants 'newer, cheaper, and right now' items.

Incidentally, in one of my previous lives, I was a department manager for WalMart. I am all too familiar with their ordering, hiring, employment, payment, and other practices. One of the main reasons WalMart had to stop doing layaways was that they would put the Christmas layaways in locked containers in the back of the store - and many layaway containers (not just in our store; it was endemic) were being robbed by not only people who broke in to them, but by employees. Three of our assistant store managers were caught (finally, after many specious accusations against employees - no not me) robbing high-end items like rifles, TVs, and stereo equipment from the containers. A small store with family and long-time employees, who share a goal of making the business succeed and everyone including their community profiting, does not have those problems.




I wanted to try and abbreviate your post but every bit of it was so correct. I personally prefer the smaller places rather than the multi-billion dollar corporations and would gladly pay the old ma and pa place a few extra cents than drive 25 miles to a city...and use up whatever 'savings' there may have been, in fuel and time.
Up until about 6 years ago I used to be able to run tabs at certain little family owned stores back in Casa Grande (Az) but then the 'big guys' came in and took over (when population tripled during that ousing 'burst') and put these little guys out of business. Try running a tab with them? Ha!
Point being is my town now isnt as small as yours (about 3500 people) and if you dont do Walmart (I work there) you have to drive 10 miles to Piggly Wiggly...or further for any other. I live in Chilton, WI.
BTW...what a shame about the 'inside' thefts! Thats so jacked up...but honestly, not surprising.
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Old 03-03-2012, 10:45 AM
 
Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii
9,970 posts, read 19,304,610 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rrtechno View Post
And part of the reason it has become tougher is because people buy so much on the internet and at the big box stores.

I waited on someone yesterday who came in for a pound of nails. He made a comment about the low quantity of inventory at the store. I replied that when people are not buying, you can't keep the inventory on hand, but that everything is still available with just a few days notice if not in stock. His reply was "What if you are doing something and don't know in advance that you are going to need something?" After a little discussion, it came out that he meant, "What if you drive the 20 miles one way to the big box store to get all the materials for a project and then discover as you are working on the project, that you didn't get enough material and need one or two pieces to finish up?" The local merchant can't stay open if people only use them for the "fill in"items.

By the way, I checked the price on the 1 pound of nails he was after. $2.15 at our place, $2.47 at the big box store. (plus gas). Heck, I would have sold him a half pound of nails if that was all he wanted. Would have been $1.08.
Try to buy just a half pound of nails at a big box store.
We have a small 3rd generation hardware store in our town who will sell you individual nails! A friend needed 4 big finishing nails to use as bobbin holders on his spinning wheel and they were seven cents each at Ikeuchi's hardware. Try that at some big box place. Our hardware has friendly service and they always have whatever oddball thing we need, no matter (pretty much) how oddball. It is also OUR hardware store, there's no sense of community with any of those big box places. I always check at our local hardware first and then maybe fill in at some other place if they can't order it in.

The other thing with big box stores is they sell crap. Weigh a tool from your local hardware then weigh the same tool (make & model) at the big box. Betcha the big box store tool will weigh less. Stamped fittings instead of cast, bushings instead of bearing, thinner electrical wires/cord. It all adds up and you end up with an inferior tool. Part of the "purchasing power" of big box stores is that they can order enough that the manufacturers will make a cheaper version.

Also, when I spend money at the local hardware, they hire local folks and pay a living wage, buy products from local folks whenever possible and they donate to local charities. They bank with the local bank who in turn is able to give mortgages to local folks. There are a whole lot more benefits to shopping local than most folks realize. Another thing you can do is buy directly from the producers. Small farmers would love to sell vegetables directly to the consumer. We have soap makers, vegetable growers, yarn makers, fish farmers, folks selling eggs, folks with beef, lamb and pork (slaughtered at a USDA processing facility) who we can buy directly from. They get more for their efforts, we get much better goods for less and the money stays very local.
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Old 03-03-2012, 03:12 PM
 
Location: In a happy place
3,784 posts, read 7,045,715 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotzcatz View Post
We have a small 3rd generation hardware store in our town who will sell you individual nails! A friend needed 4 big finishing nails to use as bobbin holders on his spinning wheel and they were seven cents each at Ikeuchi's hardware. ...
If it's someone who patronizes our place, those nails would have been given away. I know. I've done it already. Someone who never enters the store otherwise, yeah, charge them. but not 4 nails for a regular customer. (although sometimes the regular customer will throw a dollar down on the counter and say "Thanks" as they turn to walk out the door with their free nails)
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Old 03-08-2012, 06:40 AM
 
Location: Ouch yonder
113 posts, read 133,731 times
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I dont care for the box stores but I dont care for much groth either.I live in the country and I want it to stay country.Iv seen the big box stores go into other small communites and most time sprawl comes next.The more city convience in the town or rural county the more people start moving in and subdivisions and shopping centers go up.And the country aint country no more.
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:38 PM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,093 posts, read 73,653,944 times
Reputation: 27598
We have a small Ace Hardware in town where I can also buy individual nails/screws from a set of draws. Love it. Same two old guys run the place and always seem to remember the last time you were in and what you bought and ask you how it worked out for you.

Sometimes I'm the McGuyver type person..I know what I want to do but don't know what I need to do it so I explain what I want to rig up or fix and they always seem to find the pieces I need or make suggestions on what to do.

Sometimes you need more than duct tape and a hammer
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Old 03-10-2012, 10:15 PM
 
Location: Stillwater, Oklahoma
16,359 posts, read 13,805,345 times
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I like big box stores in my town since it means I don't have to go to the big city for them. But we're still lacking in some of them and wish Target would hurry up and build a store.
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