Well Duh!

Russ Steele

The region is suffering economically based in part on the decisions of a small vocal minority that have opposed any big box stores.  So, we do not have any of those stores, so citizens are driving out side the County to spend their money on a wide range of products. The Union has the story on the front page of the 22 November 2011 edition:

Grass Valley-area residents are taking more than $200 million out of the county to shop and dine, according to a report being prepared for the city.

Folks are looking elsewhere to buy a lot of their furniture and home decor, electronics and appliances, health and personal care products, clothing and accessories, sporting and hobby goods, and books and movies. They also go out of the area to eat and drink, according to a city-paid study being developed by Buxton Co. of Fort Worth, Texas.

 The biggest destination for out-of-town shopping is to the very big-box stores many say would spoil the rural, small-town charm of western Nevada County: Department stores, warehouse-style stores and superstores, Buxton has found.

An earlier study in the 1990s put the leakage at about $60 million. In early 2000 it was pegged at $100 million, now it is $200 million. Why? Because these big-box stores are offering citizens the products that they want at much lower prices.

Our refrigerator died recently and we started shopping local for a replacement. Due to our kitchen configuration we has some specific requirements. We shopped online and identified the appliance models that would meet our needs. We called around and no one had any of the models that we needed. They could order one, which should arrive in two to three week. We called stores in Roseville and they had what we needed in stock, at $400 to $500 less than we could order one locally, delivered on the next truck to Nevada County. We had a new refrigerator in less than a week. Duh!

The consulting firm is analyzing the shopping habits of local residents to help city leaders figure out what kinds of retailers could be targeted for local recruitment.

I suggest that they figure out why people shop in Roseville and Marysville, and figure out which are the best big box stores for western Nevada County. We need to stop a small vocal minority from blocking these stores. It is clear from peoples buying habits what customer want and tax starved governments need. Lets stop fooling around and provide customer what they really want and now what a small minority would like them to have.

Do not hold your breath, our local leaders lack the will to do what really needs to be done.  Bring the stores that people really want to Grass Valley, is just too hard.  In the mean time, people will continue to shop in Placer County. Auburn will soon have a WallMart and there is possibly a new Mall going in at I-80 and Sierra College, much closer than the Galleria in Roseville. When the next study is done in fie years the leakage will be $300 million, and our infrastructure will continue decline from the lack of tax revenue.  Duh!


About Russ Steele
Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.

One Response to Well Duh!

  1. Dixon Cruickshank says:

    I would bet a dime to a dollar when the small minority’s frig goes out they go also – just say’in

    maybe somebody should ask them what their last major purchase was and where – of course they would lie prolly

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