Thursday, May 18, 2006

Interesting Letter in Today's ADE

Interesting enough to post the whole letter which can be found here:

I wanted the people of Saranac Lake and the surrounding communities to know what is happening in regard to a department store in downtown Saranac Lake. The Save Saranac Lake Coalition has formed an “Alternative Options” committee. We are a team of residents researching options for the downtown area. We have investigated existing small department stores all over the country and the possibility of starting a community-run department store. On this front we have good news. In late June we will be hosting Sharon Earheart from the Chamber of Commerce in Powell, Wyoming. Powell, Wyoming is the home of the Powell Mercantile, a small department store that is run by the community. In addition we are in contact with people in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Maine that are also in the process of opening locally run department stores. Sharon, along with others, will be part of a panel discussion the week of Jun 19th about the feasibility of such a thing here in Saranac Lake. Keep an eye out as details develop. The future of downtown Saranac Lake is bright!

Jamie Konkoski

Saranac Lake

This is a group of people that believe in action. I have stated my desire to invest in a community department store. I blogged about this option on Feb 24th and Feb 25th. It is definitely an idea worth discussing. One big advantage of such a store is the money REALLY is kept in the community.


Anonymous said...

The Powell, Wyoming store is not the only community owned department store. The first one was in Plentywood, Montana and is called "Little Muddy Dry Goods Store." There is also "Garnet Mercantile" in Ely, Nevada,
"Washakie Wear" in Worland, Wyoming, "Family Matters Inc." in Malta, Montana, and "Glendive Clothing Company" in Glendive, Montana.
The Little Muddy store raised money by having 18 people contribute $10,000 each. But in Powell, they lowered the price to $500.00 a share so more folks could get in on it. As far as I can see these stores all moved into the buildings where their old department stores had been. They all sell clothing, and shoes. Garnet Mercantile has added furniture, and Powell is now selling kids clothing.
Town populations:
Plentywood, Montana: 2,000
Ely, Nevada: 5,000
Washkie county: 8,289

store openings:
Little Muddy: August 2000
Garnet Mercantile: November 2004
Washakie Wear: June 2003
Family Matters: August 2000
Glendive Clothing: 2002

Average store size is 10,000 to 12,000 square feet. This concept works folks. And it can work here too. And before you complain, the good folks in Ely, Nevada had to drive 190 miles to buy common household goods when their J.C. Penny store closed! Driving to Plattsburgh is cake compared to that!!

peterH said...

great idea - Id go in too