The Southland Times Are Winding Up The Peasants

28 Jun

A lame article on The Southland Times facebook and website is yet again a red herring, in my opinion;-)

The retailer remains on the hunt for a store location and a company spokesperson said an announcement would be made if a location had been finalised.

“We are always looking for new locations to bring people our everyday low prices, and that includes Invercargill.”

All that says is that Invercargill is not ruled out as a location.  The skim readers on facebook assume that “remains on the hunt for a store location” means the hunt is on in Invercargill.  K-Mart has planned to open a couple of stores in NZ per year until 2020.  They have not made any suggestion that the location they are searching for is in Invercargill.  The Southland Times and facebook commenters manipulated that angle.

The irony, for me, is that just yesterday I was reading about research done (in the U.S) before and after a Walmart came to town.  It did not paint a pretty picture.  Given my family are dependent on fixed-term and casual contracts, these comments hit home.

For those thinking that the loss of a few competing stores is outweighed by a gain in jobs, think again. For every Walmart job, 1.4 local retail jobs are lost, reducing the average retail employment in the community by 2.7%. Further, many of the Walmart jobs are part-time, low wage, unfair to women and other groups, and unsafe.

If we look at the Richmond K-Mart which opened in 2013, we see that within a year reality is kicking in.  I am not sold and highlight these comments;

Fortunately, there are some steps communities can take to help their retailers compete against Walmart and other big box retailers. First, communities should not incentivize or otherwise try to attract a Walmart. If Walmart is coming or already open, municipalities can help their businesses by offering financial or educational assistance to help them adapt. The financial assistance may be a grant to partially cover renovations, while the educational assistance might be in the form of a workshop on product selection, marketing, customer service, or business efficiency.

I doubt an Australian company that offers self-serve check-outs selling cheap ‘Made In China’ products will be our salvation.  How K-Mart can be incorporated into the CBD is whole ‘nother story.  The Richmond K-Mart is 5100 sqm plus 300 carparks.  What block in the CBD will we level?

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2 Responses to “The Southland Times Are Winding Up The Peasants”

  1. Dave Kennedy June 29, 2016 at 10:34 am #

    Well said, Kylie.

    • Kylie June 29, 2016 at 10:31 pm #

      I am K-Mart’s target audience but I would rather keep op shopping and upcycling. I can’t see this being good for the city.

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