Having just returned to the Imperial Valley (I was away for four years due to business), I instantly became aware of the reason El Centro's businesses are failing.
Virtually every business I have come in contact with (the exception being the recently opened Home Depot) have no concept of customer service. Rather, it seems that businesses operate with the attitude "So what! Where else are you going to go?"
Business owners do not make any attempt to please the customer (i.e. contact the customer if they are unable to follow through with purchases or deliveries, thank you for your patronage, or act with any sense of urgency to the customers' needs).
The more I speak with friends and associates who are from the Valley, the more I hear my complaint echoed.
The business owners had better come into the 20th century with customer service, because other than urgent matters, many people are already taking their business to outlying areas like San Diego, Yuma and Palm Springs.