‘Always low prices’ — but not here
Wal-Mart official says company has no plans for Craig
Wal-Mart officials may have glanced in Craig, but they didn’t look for long.
According to a spokesman, Craig was only one of 600 to 800 communities officials looked at when considering where to build a proposed 250 new stores this year.
“We had looked at sites, but it’s not accurate to say we’re still looking,” said Keith Morris, community relations for the Wal-Mart corporation.
“Nothing resulted from that, so there’s no plan to go forward,” he said.
In January, Morris confirmed rumors that Craig was on the company’s radar for a proposed new store and officials were looking at available property.
“We didn’t find anything we were ready to move forward with,” Morris said.
“I can’t say there will never be one, but we don’t have any plans to go forward with a store in Craig.”
The announcement resulted in mixed feelings from area residents.
“I’m thoroughly disgusted,” Wanda Montieth said. “I think we need more shopping opportunities here. Right now, there’s not a good variety.”
Montieth thinks that more people would stay in town to shop if there were more options and a bigger selection.
Harold Ratzlaff, on the other hand, was concerned that a Wal-Mart would steal customers from existing businesses.
“I don’t want a Wal-Mart in Craig,” he said.
“If we lost (local businesses) to Wal-Mart, I wouldn’t feel good about it. Those people are my friends and neighbors.”
Ratzlaff said he can get everything he needs in Craig.
“But maybe I just don’t need as much as other people do,” he said.
Craig Mayor Dave DeRose said he too was concerned about the potential effect on existing businesses.
“If (a Wal-Mart) came here, it would probably hurt one of our big businesses and lots of our little businesses.
“I don’t want to see empty buildings,” he said.
Morris said that each year the Wal-Mart corporation looks at hundreds of towns as potential sites for new stores, and each time the rumors spark a storm of speculation.
“Sometimes people make more of it than it is,” he said.
Christina M. Currie can be reached at 824-7031 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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