I’ve discussed the possibility of a Walmart in Brentwood with several business owners in town and read the opinions in your Opinion section. From what I’ve heard and read, it seems that the business owners in downtown Brentwood are not worried about losing business to Walmart. It’s the small businesses on Brentwood Boulevard that are worried about losing business.
I think that’s a valid concern, but because we live in a competitive society (at least it is for now), some will make it and some won’t. I know that’s over simplifying the matter, but any small business, including mine, faces competition all of the time, and those that make it usually are stronger because of it. And besides, since this is a commercially zoned property, how do you know that any store built there might not harm local businesses? If they’d been able to get Costco, would that have been OK?
Downtown business owners favor Walmart building here because they believe it will bring more people to our downtown. (By the way, unlike some people, I love our downtown and I am very enthusiastic about everything the city has accomplished so far. I know some businesses have not fared too well this past year, but I think a lot of that is due to the poor economy. A few years ago, even with all of the construction, things would have been different.)
What they do not like about Walmart is the potential for increased crime, etc. Why not have a small police presence at Walmart just as they do at The Streets of Brentwood? My husband and I own our own business and we’ve had to make some difficult choices over the past five years to stay afloat in this economy. And like a lot of people, I’ve had to cut back on spending and I would welcome Walmart in Brentwood.
Finally, just for your information, if you buy stock (I don’t), you might want to buy Walmart shares. Walmart and the Dollar Store shares have risen as the economy has worsened, and I don’t see any improvement for a long time.
Kristin Villyard, Brentwood