Voice: Let people of Calexico decide on Super Wal-Mart

April 10, 2001

I read with interest all the moaning and groaning over the so-called "big box" ordinance. For 30 years I had friends who worked in the food sales business for large companies like Proctor & Gamble and General Foods. They serviced most of the grocery business in the county, not just Calexico.

For all these years Calexico merchants have had a captive audience.

One thing that burned me worse than others was when something was on a company promotion, say a box of Tide soap with the box marked $1 off the price. On the top was $5.99. Now the merchant gets full price plus the $1 from Proctor and Gamble. If the salesman said anything, the merchant wouldn't buy his products or little of it next time. It still goes on and all over and if you catch it now it is a computer mistake and they change it if you yell loudly enough.


Even the prices at the McDonald's in Calexico are higher on selected items then they are for the same items in El Centro or Brawley. Not to mention gasoline prices, which yo-yo all over the county but most of the time are a bigger rip-off in Calexico.

I have shopped at Sam Ellis, too. Who are we kidding? Comparing Sam Ellis to Wal-Mart … Their merchandise is comparable to Robinson-May, not Wal-Mart, so 1,700 signatures that want a Super Wal-Mart should that tell you something.

What are those poor merchants going to do? Either compete or find something else like the rest of you do if our livelihood dries up for whatever reason.

Some of you may not be guilty of this but time marches on. Ask the buggy-whip makers.

Newberry's, Kress, Woolworth and many family owned mom and pop grocery stores were drying up before Wal-Mart ever hit town. I have been to the Super Wal-Mart in Bentonville, Ark. The prices are great, the people are friendly and the service great.

Is this what scares the merchant, instead of acting like I owe them a living? All of you pay taxes, including Wal-Mart. It needs to be put to a vote of all the people in Calexico. To keep them from having a voice to where they want to spend their money most certainly is not free enterprise.

Now being on a fixed income, I have to watch my budget a lot closer than I used to.

Fortunately I am mobile enough I can shop when and where I please. But for how long? Who knows?

I dread the thought that someday I may have to pay a dollar for an item that a big store would sell me for 75 cents. I hope Calexico shoppers get their super store if they want it. They have more than paid for it all these years.


El Centro

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