Editorial: Doing downtown better

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Craig Editorial Board, Jan. to March 2012

  • Al Cashion, community representative
  • Jeff Pleasant, community representative
  • Bryce Jacobson, newspaper representative
  • Bridget Manley, newspaper representative
  • Chris Nichols, community representative
  • Josh Roberts, newspaper representative

One of the many benefits of winter’s slow eviction and the emergence of nicer weather is that it helps better reveal some of our town’s attributes.

One such attribute, Editorial Board members noticed during the weekend, is our community’s downtown district.

Downtown, board members contend, looks much better than it used to. When stopping for a moment, one can appreciate the variety of stores offered, the pleasing look of many of them, and the serene and green presence of Alice Pleasant Park.

At a time in our country when downtowns composed of small businesses are dying away in small communities, Craig is lucky to have a retail district as it does. There is an alternative for our consumers to the trappings of big-box stores like Kmart and Wal-Mart.

Not every community can say the same thing.

That good fortune hasn’t escaped the Editorial Board.

But neither has the fact that as good as downtown and its stores are, the district in general and businesses specifically could be that much better.

It’s been a common criticism among several Editorial Boards, as well as many local shoppers, that downtown businesses don’t exactly keep customer-friendly hours. Finding one open at 5 p.m., when most residents are getting off work, is sometimes difficult. Finding stores open on the weekend, or on holidays, also can be daunting.

So without the alternative of shopping downtown when they’re off work, shoppers take the more convenient route and hit the corporate chain stores.

And who could blame shoppers for it? After all, it’s not the consumer’s job to be available when stores are, and any belief to the contrary is a prime example of bad business practices.

To Editorial Board members, it seems a more reasonable, customer-friendly management at several downtown stores would result in better business for those stores, additional options for local consumers, more sales tax and ideally, a better downtown for the community.

However, this suggestion for more practical hours geared toward customers has been made before, and store-owners and managers have done little to respond.

Perhaps another nudge in that direction, this time piggy-backed onto a national recession making sales harder to come by, is enough to convince them change is in their best interest.

Comments

GreyStone 4 years, 8 months ago

Lack of customer-friendly hours, lack of customer-friendly management at downtown stores and the attitude that the customer must conform to their routine seems to be a common premise within the Craig business elite.

Without the alternative of shopping downtown when we gat off work, we do have the internet.. Even the local corporate chain stores do not stock some items, however they provide the option of shopping their stores on the internet, free shipping, site to store. I do some business with local stores, however the internet is proving to be much more convenient with free shipping on most orders.

Wake up, downtown stores and work a little harder for my business..

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