Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Wal-Mart Decides To Help Further Split The Saranac Lake Community

A report on WNBZ radio here.

Multi-billion dollar Wal-Mart is worried. The company obviously will only survive by building an out-of-scale box store at a site that 70% of residents do not support. This must be the case, because Wal-Mart has started a PR campaign to build support for the company.

Now here we have some 'outsiders' with huge amounts of 'disposable income' telling us, the life long residents and common people of SL what we should do (part snark here). This is sure to upset the Wal-Mart supporters in the area because they do not like outsiders with disposable income influencing their decisions. CARD is sure to tell Wal-Mart to cease, desist and mind their own business. Don't call us, we'll call you.

The mailing says the store “blends with the design” and the “distinct character” of the community.

Keep in mind that a PR company's job is convincing you that a shit sandwich tastes great.

Saranac Lake Mayor Tom Michael had yet to see the flyer, but said he was disappointed Wal-Mart was launching a public relations campaign. “[I’m] wondering if they feel they need to get public opinion on their side because they’re project has issues,” he said. “The planning process is not a popularity contest. It’s a set process. I’m just disappointed they feel they need to start a PR campaign to get their store approved.”

This outragious ploy by Wal-Mart should be criticized by supporters and opponents of Wal-Mart because they are attempting to pit area resident against resident.

It includes a tear-off card that residents can return to a Wal-Mart Community Relations Office in Rochester. They can check off if they’d like to support the proposal by writing letters, attending meetings or becoming involved in “local pro-Wal-Mart efforts.”

Thanks Wal-Mart, but area residents are already writing letters, attending meetings and have become involved in local groups that either support or oppose you. Maybe you should think about spending those PR/marketing dollars on your employees.


Anonymous said...

Wal-Mart will stoop to anything to get what THEY WANT. And what they want is a 121,000 square foot store on Lake Flower in this village. Keep in mind that they could CARE LESS ABOUT WHAT WE WANTED OR NEEDED.
Currently, Wal-mart is only concerned about its stockholders and of course their bottom line which is profits. In order to continue to show a profit they must KEEP BUILDING NEW STORES. Wal-Mart's same store sales (stores that have been open for a year or so) have stagnated. Their sales have flatlined and unless more stores keep going up, they are in trouble with their stockholders. Saranac Lake is just another number to them. We mean nothing. And if the store fails to perform as expected they won't HESITATE TO LEAVE OUR VILLAGE. Why do you think they have over 350 empty stores in the U.S.? Isn't it time they got the hint and left our village?

Anonymous said...

In reference to the above comment and the ongoing effort of W-M to keep building new stores: There is a story on ( about a Wall Street Journal report regarding Wal-Mart's extensive expansion and that some of the new stores are pitting a W-M against a W-M (not unlike what will happen with the Saranac Lake W-M vs the Malone W-M vs the Plattsburgh W-M, etc) Economists on Wall Street are seeing this as a negative for the company (this being purely economics, not even regarding the social ramifications) and it's stock value and it's own health as a company. The fear, of course, is that the company will expand way too rapidly and not be able to maintain what they have created (also refer to the above comment and the 350 empty W-M stores in the US) and having cannibalized their own stores. This company could, at worst, implode and crash, at best, close down hundreds more stores, leaving empty airplane hangers in communities all across the country and leaving everyone having to travel many miles to the nearest W-M because everything else has been driven out of business. This is the most likely scenario for Saranac Lake. This store will probably not make a profit, or if it does it will be too low for W-M to keep it open. It will be closed at some time down the line, say in 5 to 7 years, and everyone will be forced to drive to Plattsburgh or Malone (if the Malone store isn't closed) because there won't be anything left in Saranac Lake except art galleries and eateries... and they probably won't be open because the foot traffic will have dropped off so much because people aren't going to shop in a town where half or more of the storefronts are empty.

As for the W-M marketing piece: this company is showing it's true colors - and if the W-M supporters can't begin see this, well................

Anonymous said...

Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart said years ago that Wal-Mart would eventually compete against itself. Walton's strategy when he founded the company was to COMPLETELY SATURATE AN AREA WITH HIS STORES. When he had done so he would then move to another area within that state. By doing this he never had to advertise. His customers did it for him by word of mouth.
Today, Wal-mart has another agenda. It is to replace discount stores with supercents selling groceries. In Nowata, Oklahoma some years ago they closed one of their discount stores and a few others to open a supercenter in Bartlesville. Residents now had to drive 30 miles to purchase common household stuff because there was NOTHING LEFT IN THEIR BUSINESS DISTRICT. And did Wal-Mart care? Hardly. A Sunday, March 5, 1995 New York Times article has the complete story.
Wal-mart also closed a store in Hearne, Texas and left them with nothing. They don't hesistate to close stores.
When they wanted to go into Lake Placid I predicted they would be gone in 5 years. A Plattsburgh retailer told me I was being generous. They would be gone in 2 years!! Don't expect them to stay folks. WE DON'T HAVE THE MILLIONS THEY WILL NEED TO STAY HERE AND CONTINUE TO DO BUSINESS. The Adirondacks simply doesn't have it. Wal-Marts agenda here is to come in and wipe out all their competiton. Then they will close this store because it is UNPROFITABLE--forcing everyone to drive to Plattsburgh to shop. And will they care? Hardly.
Let's not become another pawn in their plans. Lets send them packing.