Local Businesses, Shoppers Can Do More For Community

We all have ideas as to what should fill the soon-to-be-vacant Sam’s Club location on Fairmount Avenue in West Ellicott.

Commenters on Post-Journal.com and on our Facebook page have tossed out BJ’s, Target and Costco as tenants they would like to see.

Unless shoppers and retailers realize they are in this together, however, it won’t matter what the next tenant of the hulking Fairmount Avenue building is. Sam’s Club may not be closing if the shoppers who have flocked to the location since the store reopened on Friday had been frequenting the store with such fervor for the past few years. The same can be said of many businesses that have announced their closing only to hear cries of outrage or sadness from the community.

Shopping local is a two-way street.

If businesses expect local shoppers to buy locally and preserve local jobs then they must do a better job of having the items local shoppers want to buy. There is little more frustrating as a consumer than visiting three or four local shops only to find your time and energy wasted because the shops don’t have what you want. Such efforts can be especially vexing when the item can be delivered within a couple of days with the click of one’s mouse. And companies may need to adjust their pricing if they can’t compete with Internet retailers.

It’s sad to see companies close their doors. The community needs these companies to provide jobs and tax base to our economy. Business needs the community, too. It’s safe to say, in some cases, both sides can do better.