Shun The Big Box Stores, Support Local Yucaipa Valley Merchants

Written by Bob on November 24th, 2009

YUCAIPA, CA – Fifty-four hours and counting. That’s how close shoppers are to the most crazed shopping day of the year: Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving that kicks off the traditional Christmas shopping season.

Recently, the Yucaipa Valley Chamber of Commerce and city officials started a campaign to encourage – no actually they’re imploring – Yucaipa Valley residents to shop locally and support our merchants and businesses this holiday season.

I support and applaude their efforts.

But I don’t think it’s had much effect in keeping shoppers from leaving Yucaipa or Calimesa for nearby Redlands or Beaumont and converging on, and spending their money in their mega malls.

About 15 miles away from my doorstep in Beaumont stands the massive Super Wal-Mart store. Close by is a Home Depot and a Best Buy store. These giant retailers sell in volume. And they sell cheap. When Wal-Mart advertises itself as the, “low cost leader,” that’s truth in advertising at its zenith.

So how can the small merchant compete price-wise with these retailing behemoths? They can’t. Why?

Because we Americans have become addicted to low prices. We expect the consumer goods we buy to come at low cost.

If the local merchant can’t compete, we hop in our cars and head for the low price big box stores. Even if we often times save only a few bucks. And even if it costs more in gas and time, and traffic congestion than it’s worth.

Recently, Morgan’s Nursery in Yucaipa closed its doors. A victim of the sluggish economy. A victim of the big box stores and their low prices.

After years of superb customer service, quality nursery products, and fair prices, Dennis Morgan and his wife Janet were forced to call it quits.

So when we drive by the shuttered doors of Morgan’s Nursery, or the “for rent” former jewelry store on the corner of Yucaipa Blvd. and California Street, or the out of business tire shop on Calimesa Blvd., we only need to look no further than ourselves to blame for helping in the demise of our friends and neighbors’ businesses.

Black Friday is 54 hours away and counting. Fifty-four hours away from making a choice: We can either shop at the Wal-Mart’s and Kmart’s and Sears, or we can shop local and support our Yucaipa Valley merchants and businesses.

And if we choose local, then just maybe we can help keep our friends and neighbors, like the Morgan’s, from going out of business.

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Yucaipa Valley Chamber of Commerce

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