Thursday, 19 March 2009

Fouling Your Own Nest

In the latest edition of The Uniter there is a story The Move from the West in which they interview a couple of local business people about some long standing retailers that have left the West End - the most recent being Budget Rent a Car at Ellice and Sherbrook.
Sherbrook Street
It's a topic I have discussed here as well after Safeway and the Bargain Shop left.
Former Safeway
Another Retailer Gone
What raised my eyebrows was the comments by the manager of JS Furniture at Ellice near Maryland. To quote from the article:

"He believes that businesses in the neighbourhood are suffering because the people in the city have a bad perception of the place. “I’ve been working here for 11 years and I have never seen a worse neighbourhood,” Reykdal said....

Reykdal is unconvinced that community groups like the West End BIZ or the Spence Neighbourhood Association can make a change in the community.
“You can talk till you’re blue in the face, it’s not going to change the atmosphere here,” he said."

Geez, buddy, I wonder why people you meet and potential customers would have a bad perception of the place if you're out there singing this song to anyone who will listen !

Business promotion skills:


cancelbot said...

Reminds me of your typical travel article about Winnipeg where the writer will generally gush about the place, while noting the fact that all the locals "couldn't believe" he would take a trip to Winnipeg from New York/London/Los Angeles/wherever.

People here are too modest for their own good, and that's not a compliment.

Dalila said...

I've gotta agree with you on that one.
I find it hard to believe that Bargain Bargain couldn't stay in business in the neighbourhood.
I prefer the small interesting places that are mostly on Sargent and Ellice anyway, so losing the big stores isn't that troubling to me. There are lots of small ethnic places that are really great.
And you can tell the JS guy doesn't care about the neighbourhood; his windows are generally uninviting. He probably just stays in the area because it's cheap!

mrchristian said...

Funny that he's in the strip that has seen the most improvement - Ellice Cafe and Theatre, West End Cultural Centre.

I agree with you about retail. There's a huge number of little shops and restaurants in the West End and now a number of African ones are opening up as well.

When I bought a place in the West End I dropped in there looking for a dining room table. I didn't get a very friendly feel. Thanks God I didn't end up buying anything !

thriftshop said...

The Black Sheep Diner was full yesterday for lunch. It's great to see them doing so well. That's a real nice strip along Ellice, lots of diversity. Some people just love to bitch and complain.

Aaron said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aaron said...

That photo of the old Safeway store...is that the location on Ellice? I drove past there with a friend last week and we commented on the old style of building, just sitting there. Now, I've heard stories about Safeway sitting on properties just to ensure another grocery retailer doesn't move into the neighbourhood...any truth to that in this instance?

mrchristian said...

@ Aaron That could be the case.

I remember when Safeway pulled out of Portage near Unicity (it's now a Princess Auto) that place sat vacant for many years because Safeway didn't want a competing business in there - and these days anything to do with food, pharmacy, beauty supplies, flowers etc. are all competition.

At one point the rest of the mall business owners had one of those portable signs up in the parking lot with a message to the effect of "Safeway is killing our mall".