Posted on April 2, 2011 by Submitted

Editor: Sonoma is at risk of becoming what I call “Anywhere USA”. Start with Staples and then open the doors to Petco, Applebee’s, Costco, WalMart, Target, Olive Garden and the myriad of other big box/chain/formula stores and restuarants which are common in communities surrounding us. Say goodbye to the charm and special destination ambiance of our lovely Valley of the Moon. We will lose many local businesses and then the “bigs” will leave us with blight when they close their doors because their profit expectations weren’t met. Enact a permit moratorium now to stop this madness.

One thought on “Staples

  1. I just love how this “issue” is all about everything except the truth. The debate is cloaked with phrases like “box-store” and “small-town charm” and blah blah blah. The truth is…we’re kind of snobs.

    People are up in arms because a big chain is on the way. What about Safeway, CVS, Whole Foods, McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Starbucks, Marriott, and my favorite…the Ford dealer that used to be in that vacant building? Doesn’t get much bigger than that. The real issue is that none of them has a reputation for being what Staples is, a discounter. If we let them in we all know who’s next. Yup…Wal-Mart. Well there goes the neighborhood.

    Trust me, that just isn’t going to happen. We don’t fit that demographic, are not proximate to a major highway, and do not have large amounts of cheap land. Wal-Mart wants all of that and that’s why their in American Canyon.

    The people who throw around “small-town charm” act like they are warriors in some noble cause. This has nothing to do with maintaining a lifestyle, it has to with marketing. Sonoma is an international wine country tourist destination and is heavily promoted as such. (Heck, we even have a film festival with the word “International” in it so it must be true) It’s much easier and more efficient to market something as quaint and charming rather than a complex community where people live, shop, and work. The latter may be true but it’s not marketable.

    The other argument I hear is that Staples will unfairly compete with local businesses. Well Sonoma Market is flourishing despite the fact Safeway is right across the street and Whole Foods is a block away. There seem to be more taco trucks then ever so the “Bell” has clearly not run them out of town, and last time I checked Happy Dog was doing fine despite being less than 200’ from McDonald’s. Don’t get me wrong because I really love the folks at (store that shall remain nameless) but their motto should be “no, but we can order it”. A little competition now and then is not a bad thing.

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