Saturday, May 21, 2011
Sign of the Economic Times
We live in a small town. Our family personally lives 12 miles from said small town. That means 12 miles from gas, groceries, post office, etc. Between town and us there are two small gas stations that have a small amount of groceries/supplies. A couple of months ago I noticed that the one small store I frequent had a sign up that the business was for sale. I questioned the owners and just figured since they were retirement age that they were retiring and ready to sell the business. After a week or so the sign came down. Fast forward to last week another sign was put up that everything must go. Today we stopped to pick up a newspaper for my dad (can't seem to talk him in to reading news on the web) and my mom questioned the owners. Evidently they have been losing money for a long time and just couldn't continue. I know that this particular family has at least owned the business as long as we have been here which is 8 years. They are actually selling everything, food and supplies on the shelves all the way up to doors, fixtures shelving, etc. The owner is in his 60's and will now have to find a job. We are heartbroken for this family. Plus this will be another gas station that went under and will sit vacant for who knows how long. I went in to the other gas station yesterday. They did have a small grill on the inside for breakfast biscuits, sandwhiches, etc. and I noticed a sign up that said the grill would be closed indefinitely due to the high prices of purchasing the food to serve. If this gas station goes out of business we will have nothing closer than 12 miles away. In our small town square numerous businesses have opened and then closed a few months later. Half of the small retail spaces in the square are sitting empty. In the next town over from us a new Walmart Supercenter will be opening in June. Not sure how I feel about this. On the one hand it is good for the consumer to have one more grocery buying choice than the just one grocery store chain in the few towns in our area. On the other that just means that many more small mom and pop operations that will have to compete and probably lose against the powerhouse of Wally World. This means the retail area that houses the small Walmart and is the centerpieces of a few other businesses will be empty. One more case in point. In my sister's small subdivision there are a handful of houses for sale that have been for sale for a while. One house in particular has had a for rent sign up forever. Today I notice the for rent sign has been changed to "Rooms for Rent". Wonder how the board of that subdivision feels about that. I am sure we will see much more of all of this as the days, months, and years roll on.