Sunday, February 11, 2007

Another one bites the dust.....

Just found out that a second long-time-in-Fairbanks store is going out of business. And this one is locally owned, unlike the last one. The previous "most recent" store to go out of business was Waldenbooks. The cause can be traced to a number of causes: The mall in which it was located no longer recieves as much business from more mature age groups. (Ie: most of the stores in that mall are now geared toward brain-dead teenagers who are more interested in video games & American Eagle than in expanding their mind with books.) Also, our town recently gained a brand-spanking-new Barnes & Noble bookstore. Between the loss of business from the lack of interested shoppers, in a mall geared mainly towards morons, and the loss of business because of a newer, bigger, fancier bookstore on the same side of town..... Waldenbooks (who, admittedly was NOT locally owned, but they HAD been in business here in Fairbanks for 22 years) was not able to keep up, and was one of the stores that the parent company (Borders Group) shut down for poor sales in recent times.

Now, School House Express is going under. Not sure what is behind their down-fall, but they have also been here in town for 20 years, give or take a year. I wonder if it is in part due to the fact that we've got stores like Fred Meyers (another long-time Fairbanks est., though not locally owned) & Walmart supplying the basic (and not so basic) school supply needs of this town. On the other hand, S.H.E. had a large supply of books & educational materials for the home-schooler, of the sort that ISN'T carried by Freddy's or Wm. So, maybe it's again a combination of the loss of business and owners deciding it's time to get out of the business. I mean, it's entirely possible that after 20 years, whomever owns the place decided to retire, or something. But, S.H.E. had THE BEST variety of fancy, sparkly pencils, and the sorts of things that are great for elementary-school-age stocking stuffers.

Unfortunately, I half expect to see The Toy Quest (a locally owned toy-store with high prices, but good quality toys) be the third local store to share the fate. I mean, deaths always seem to come in threes. TTQ would be a logical probability for a third long-time-Fairbanks business to bite the dust due to lack of business. Then again, Prospector or Big Rays is almost as likely to be the one to take that fateful third position, as TTQ is.

Anyway...... Another reason to hate these big box stores.... We're running out of locally owned & locally "flavored" stores around here. Just cements my decision to NOT set foot inside B&N. They've been here for about 6 months now, and I still haven't been inside. I've only been to Wm about 6 times in the 2+ years they've been in town. I need to find more excuses to get over to the far side of town & visit our locally owned used-book-store. But finding it hard, because thus far that is the ONLY reason I have to be over on that side of town. So I wind up buying my books from Amazon, instead. *sigh*

Just bummed about the new loss for our town. And dreading the next one. But, gotta get moving & get headed to work.

Have a Blessed Day.

5 comments:

Em said...

The chain stores, big box stores, the monoliths that just eat up local businesses. I have to admit, sometimes they offer things I want. But they take away part of what makes our cities and towns unique.

bardouble29 said...

I agree with Em. The stores offer all things under one roof, but they take the small man out of business...

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

What Em said. I am lucky enough to live in a city with a vital downtown that thrives on local merchants. Of course the chain stores are everywhere else...

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

Wanted to wish you a Happy Valentine's Day!

Wizened Wizard said...

"Mall-Wart: Your source for cheap, plastic shit"

I would like to see laws passed that would require up-front money for the removal/re-fitting of the big box store buildings when the original tenant decides to move on (which often happens within ten years or so). Walmart comes to town, gets tax breaks for coming, squashes the local small businesses, and then moves to a new location when the tax breaks expire.

Of course, the other problem I see (from my somewhat skewed and strange viewpoint) is that we all shop too much. If we limited our purchases to things we truly NEED, our world would be a healthier place.

I am sorry to hear of your town's losses, though. My area is probably similarly economically challenged. The higher priced specialty stores survive; the lower income masses need a place to buy underwear... enter the box stores.

On a more cheerful note, here's a wish for you...