Friday, July 28, 2006

SAGA Opens Informational Storefront

Announcement from SAGA.
Store Front Opens
On Tuesday July 25, 2006, SAGA unveiled its new downtown Saranac Lake storefront located at 29 Broadway. SAGA's intent is to use the location, window space and a small portion of the interior as an "information center" promoting appropriate retail development, continuing efforts to establish a size cap for retail spaces, and furthering its education campaign as to the impacts of inappropriately sized big-box retailers in the Saranac Lake area.

Information will be posted on the storefront window and there will be an effort to staff the space on a limited basis, depending on available volunteer help. It should be noted that SAGA is paying rent for this space and that it is supported by local dollars - not some multi-billion dollar mega-corporation from someplace like Arkansas.

There is an effort on the part of Wal-Mart and its supporters to influence the community with inaccurate, misleading, and deceiving "information." Wal-Mart has ramped up its PR campaign, perpetuating myths that are not grounded in any reality. They have found some local folks to believe them and even repeat them. The storefront will be focused on giving accurate information about the impacts (positive and negative) of different sized retailers on the community of Saranac Lake.

Although SAGA is not specifically opposed to Wal-Mart, we are very critical of its oversized proposal and the damaging effect it will have on Saranac Lake. We make it no secret that if they size a store appropriately, we will not oppose Wal-Mart. However, Wal-Mart and representatives of the local Wal-Mart support group, CARD, have shown no interest in discussing a reasonably sized store - they make it clear that they only support a 121,000-sq-ft Wal-Mart Super Center. We have seen no desire on their part to compromise.
Residents concerned about out-of-scale retail development in Saranac Lake are willing to put their time/money where their mouth is. Homemade signs, informational storefronts, organizations, community store development etc., they don't need the support of the largest corporation on earth to get their message out there.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

SAGA is absolutely right with their size cap. Ames was 42,000 square feet, and they sold a ton of stuff in that amount of space. For those who complained that
"Ames ain't got nothing" well they sold a lot of nothing in that amount of space. Lots of folks shopped there. 40,000 square feet is plenty big enough for what we need locally. And notiice I said what WE NEED NOT WHAT WE WANT. Note the difference.
Price Chopper in Lake Placid is 39,500 square feet. A store 40,000 square feet should provide plenty of STUFF for our needs. We need a cap on this village so in the future we don't have to fight this battle again.