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1998-09-09
Plymouth, NH. Big News In Town

The editor of The Record-Enterprise calls it "big news". The President of the Chamber of Commerce "thinks it's great". The Town Administrator says it meets all of the local zoning requirements. What could be so "super" as a super Wal-Mart coming to the small town of Plymouth, NH? Wal-Mart says that if it puts up a 150,000 s.f. supercenter on Tenney Mountain Highway, it will create more than 300 full and part-time jobs. Why, that would make Wal-Mart the second biggest employer in town, second only to the local state college. All the folks who work at Shop N Save could find new jobs wearing blue aprons at Wal-Mart! Ironically, Plymouth just got accepted into the National Main Street program, and has a town committee called Downtown 2000. The head of the Chamber of Commerce admits some downtown businesses aren't as happy about a superstore on the edge of town as some others. But the Chamber President has a bold plan: "What I would like to see us do," he says, "is to educate (Wal-Mart) associates so that if a customer comes into the store and they are unable to provide them with a specific service, they would be able to recommend a business in town that could meet the customer's specialized needs." Hmmm. Sam Walton would have called that the "Wal-Mart Open Referral Policy." But the Chamber President was even more blunt in his assessment: "Some of the businesses in town will lose employees to (Wal-Mart), and some may be in trouble because of it." Despite such reservations, the President of the Chamber exuberantly stated: "I will still have to see what the impact will be and I have to get opinions from all the businesses in town before I make a statement as President of the Chamber. But as a citizen and a taxpayer, I think it's great." No one seems to grasp yet what Wal-Mart means when they say "one stop shopping". Plymouth's Main St. efforts may be seriously side-tracked by a megastore by the highway. As Wal-Mart has said: "At Wal-Mart we make dust. Our competitors eat dust." That's the "super" deal that Wal-Mart offers towns like Plymouth. We can make dust of your local economy. Citizens in town are organizing an effort to keep Wal-Mart from dusting off Plymouth, and the editor of The Record Enterprise warns that "the naysayers will be coming out of the woodwork." Very few towns in New Hampshire have found a way to build an economy on the retail sector. Folks who see Wal-Mart as some kind of cash cow don't know which end is getting milked.

What you can do: For further information about how you can help prevent Plymouth from being milked, email: growingplace@cyberportal.net.










 
 
"Norman has become the guru of the anti-Wal-Mart movement" ~ 60 Minutes

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