Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Friday, July 21, 2006

A Tale of Two Letters

There were two letters about Wal-Mart in the Moscow-Pullman Daily News today, but as different in nature as can be.

Don Pelton, a retied WSU Business professor and BREO member Don Pelton wrote a very erduite and economically-sound dismissal of PARD's continual canards about alternatives to Wal-Mart, especially Costco:
Costco bad fit for local market

Supporters of the Pullman Alliance for Responsible Development often suggest alternative firms to replace the planned Wal-Mart in Pullman. Most often mentioned is Costco — a firm that better fits the business and social agenda of PARD.

Like Wal-Mart, Costco builds huge box stores and both use their enormous economic power to pound down the prices paid to suppliers in order to offer the lowest prices to consumers.

Both stores are already in the local market. Wal-Mart in Moscow intends to build another store in Pullman. The Costco store that serves this area is located on Fifth Street in Clarkston. If each store already has an outlet locally, why would either want to build another store? Indeed, for Costco, I know of no information that suggests it has any intention to build another store in the Pullman-Moscow-Lewiston-Clarkston area.

The annual median income of Costco shoppers is about $70,000. Thus the market for Costco is primarily limited to the most affluent one-fifth of shoppers. In contrast, the median income of Wal-Mart shoppers is about $38,000 and the median income level in the Pullman-Moscow area is less than $40,000. If we eliminate all students and their families, the most affluent 20 percent of the population including babies will total perhaps 3,000 persons. If each of these shops once a week at Costco, daily customer counts would be about 430. At Wal-Mart in Moscow, about 2,500 persons plus children shop on an average day. Costco would not be a viable business.

Thus, another Costco is a zero fit for the Pullman-Moscow market. I will cover Wal-Mart in another letter.

Don Pelton, Pullman
Then there was a letter from another retired WSU professor and PARD activist, Don Orlich. As usual from the PARDners, it is filled with negativity, childish name calling and sarcasm, and venomous personal attacks:
Residents need a real voice

Bishop Boulevard has been resurfaced on the city of Pullman’s “accelerated” schedule to placate the “Arkies” of Bentonville. However, taxpayers living in the 500 block of Dilke get to “eat dust.”

The new water main has been operational for almost one month and the decision-making gang at City Hall seemingly has put Dilke Street on the “get around to it when we feel like it” list. Just walk about on this street to measure the depth of dust on parked cars, lawn chairs, sidewalks and rooftops.

Drive by and “feel” the ride.

Perhaps we need a major change in Pullman’s city government so residents may have a real voice in determining the priority of services paid for by tax dollars.

Donald C. Orlich, Pullman
The difference is clear.

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1 comment:

April E. Coggins said...

Surely, Mr. Orlich isn't so clueless as to think that the City does their own paving.