CLEVELAND NEEDS MORE RETAILERS… NOT…!

One of the No Cleveland Wal-Mart bloggers weighs in on the opening of the Steelyard Commons supercenter and levers another shovel-full of dirt to help bury the silly idea that the strip center represents any kind of growth for Cleveland and Cuyahoga County. From Callahan's Cleveland Diary:
And you wonder why Jonathan Adler is commenting. Jeff Hess: Have Coffee Will Write.

2 Responses to “CLEVELAND NEEDS MORE RETAILERS… NOT…!”

  1. Jonathan H. Adler says:

    Jeff —

    That retail employment is declining in Northeast Ohio does not tell us very much about whether the Wal-Mart is a good idea or not.  There are many factors that affect such trends, including increased productivity and the region's overall economic conditions. 

    More importantly, the issue is not whether you think Cleveland needs more (or better) retail.  That is mindset of the central planner who thinks that he or she should determine what the rest of us do or do not need.

    The question is whether Wal-Mart and the other Steelyard Commons stores believe that they can offer valued goods and services at a competitive price, such that they will attract sufficient business to turn a profit because they are doing a better job of meeting consumers' wants and needs than their competitors.  Clearly Wal-Mart and the other Steelyard Commons retailers think they can, and it is their money that is on the line.  If they are wrong, they will not survive — but do you want to take bets on whether this Wal-Mart survives?

    I'd also add that some 5,000 people applied to work at the Wal-Mart (for some 350 openings), so there are clearly many people in the area who see potentially valuable economic opportunity from the store's opening.  Moreover, we know from the experience of other stores that a great many consumers believe that Wal-Mart offers better value than the available alternatives. I don't know about you, but I think making it less expensive for local families to meet their needs is a good thing, and if Wal-Mart can make this happen while earning  a profit, I say hooray for them.

    Those who want a different type of development in Cleveland should put their money where their mouths are, financing and supporting the sorts of businesses and enterprises they support.  Such efforts are far more productive than running to the government to erect political obstructions to private market-driven development.

    JHA

  2. […] Here’s Jonathan: I’d also add that some 5,000 people applied to work at the Wal-Mart (for some 350 openings), so there are clearly many people in the area who see potentially valuable economic opportunity from the store’s opening. […]

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