Media Archive

Shopping locally leads to frustrations

Article from The Piscataquis Observer, Vol. 165, No. 50, December 10, 2003
To the editor:

I think local businesses generally do a good job to serve the local area, but I also share some of the frustrations expressed in the "Reasons to Shop Out of Town" letter.

Let me share an example: Last July 3rd, after a busy work week, I arrived at the local grocery store shortly after 5 p.m. The store was scheduled to be open another two hours, but the meat case didn't have any hamburger, hotdogs, or steak. I was so irritated that I took pictures of the empty meat case.

Recently, I shared those pictures and my story with the chairman of the store's board of directors. His response to me was that most people plan better so they don't need to shop the day before a holiday. I responded that I felt he was inviting me to shop elsewhere. He then proceeded to explain that the store liked to sell out of meat before a holiday because the store was closed the next day. I told him the local grocery store was the only store from Brownville to Newport that was closed on July 4th.

The store's chairman tried to tell me the benefit of living in a small town outweighed the value of being able to buy groceries on a holiday. To which I said "I could live in the small town of Dover-Foxcroft and still grocery shop on July 4th."

I think this is a good example of how a local business fails to serve their customers and hurts the local economy by "inviting" their customers to shop elsewhere.

If you are fortunate enough to live where the stores are reasonably responsive to your needs, be sure to thank the store owners/managers and their staff and show your appreciation by spending your dollars in their store.

Lynn Ricker

NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.