shops struggle -- and some die -- as Logan shops at the
By Christy Jensen
February 2, 2007 | LOGAN -- Matt Monson was intent
on changing the way citizens of Cache Valley dressed
and thought when he opened The Bombshell Exchange in
Logan residents did to him what they have done to other
local stores -- kept shopping at Wal-Mart and other
big box stores despite the low prices that the Bombshell
Exchange offered to Cache Valley citizens.
"It was heart breaking," said Monson. "There is no
reason to mince words, it was heart breaking. I had
a lot of passion and myself put into that store. It
was like losing a piece of myself to close up, but you
have to know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em."
Local business owners in Logan are starting to worry
that the city doesn't care what happens to their
Jess McWhinnie, owner of The Persian Peacock, said,
"The city makes no effort to help the local downtown
shops. They don't up keep the buildings; parking is
a drag and the parking nazis who ticket people constantly
don't make it any easier."
With Wal-Mart offering acres of parking stalls, it
is easier for shoppers to go to Wal-Mart than to spend
a little more time going to other businesses.
"People are really hypnotized by the big box
stores," said Sweet Peas owner Patrice Surely.
Surely opened Sweet Pease natural market in March 2006
and has struggled to stay open.
"I manage to make ends meet and that's good enough
for me," said Surely.
Surely said, "People don't want to shop here
because Wal-Mart and Smith's both have natural organic
sections. People don't realize is that their organics
aren't always the best quality. I can guarantee that
my organic produce is much higher quality. I don't see
how Wal-Mart can keep marketing their organics when
they keep getting hit with organic violations. I don't
shop at Wal-Mart because I don't want their crappy s---."
Sweet Peas and The Persian Peacock aren't the only
places that feel the strain from the big boxes. Along
with the Bombshell Exchange closing in December, Jenna's
clothing store closed recently and the critically acclaimed
Painted Table restaurant closed its doors after less
than two years in Logan.
Nathan Burch owner of Beyond Piercing studio down
town said, "People in Logan need to look to the
person who can do the best job rather than the person
who can give them everything at once. Biggest problem
is that people are just lazy. They don't want to see
some one who specializes in something; they want one
stop shopping that is convenient."
Burch and McWhinnie have common thoughts on the decline
of local businesses. "You don't piss upstream in
the river that runs through your yard if you know it
goes through your neighbor's yard that lives downstream,"
said McWhinnie in regards the attitudes of people not
caring about what happens to local businesses
McWhinnie has felt pull against local businesses with
stores such as Lowe's and Home Depot that have come
McWhinnie said, "I use to be able to walk to
Ace hardware store to get lights for my store and the
people there knew what they were talking about. You
don't get that at Lowe's. People who own Local businesses
know their stuff."
McWhinnie and Burch agree that you can't always find
what you need locally, but using the local community
to get what you need first and then shopping at big
box stores helps the locals stay in business and helps
the economy of Logan as well.