'ShopLocal' Blog Declares War on JFP; Says We're 'Misinformed' | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

'ShopLocal' Blog Declares War on JFP; Says We're 'Misinformed'

In a post that can only be called "jaw-dropping" in its hubris, Gannett's ShopLocal™ blog has taken major umbrage with the JFP's special local-business issue last week, which exposed "local washing" by huge corporations such as Gannett, and especially my piece revealing the ShopLocal™ scam that Jackson's outlet of Gannett, The Clarion Ledger, is pushing. It seems that us dumb-little-LOCAL types are "misinformed" about "local" really means, and ShopLocal™ Senior Director of Product Management Patrick Flanagan decided to take time out of his busy corporate day up in Chicago (where this division of ShopLocal™ hangs out its shingle) to correct us dumb hicks. You see, "local" isn't necessarily "local." You could be talking about "national-local," or "local-local," or "hyper-local," or whatever other phrase the country's largest newspaper company wants to use to whitewash what they're doing.

Go read the whole, long post -- touch a nerve, did we, Pat? -- but here are a couple of delightfully defensive money quotes:

ShopLocal does focus mainly on the national-local types of retailers, but ShopLocal however has been deeply involved in Jackson, MS local-local and hyper-local advertising since 2005 with a competing local newspaper called The Clarion Ledger (Gannett owned).

First, I love that the Ledger is merely "a competing local newspaper" with us. Wouldn't that be a national-local newspaper, Mr. Flanagan? We, on the other hand, are plain old garden-variety "local"—all of us live here, we support our local businesses, and do everything from writing to distributing the papers. I'm a co-owner and every few Saturdays, I find myself driving around the local area, putting out newspapers, cleaning up boxes and racks, talking to business owners. You?

He writes:

Over the course of five (5) years, ShopLocal has worked to promote and publisher 2,585 ROP (run of press) ads in total for some of the most hyper-local, mop & pop type businesses in and around the Jackson, MS metro area.

(sic; he really typed "mop and pop"; I have a PDF in case they freak out and try to change the post.)

As for all the "mop and pop" businesses—where are they on the ShopLocal™ Jackson site? McDade's doesn't run circulars at all any longer in the Corporate-Ledger, or even the Northeast Litter-Ledger, and when you go to the ShopLocal™'s Jackson page, these are businesses you see: CVS, Best Buy, Home Depot, Target, Lowe's, Kohl's ...

He ends his post:

So contrary to what the misinformed article suggested, ShopLocal does truly support both the national-local retailers (like CVS, Target, Sears and Office Depot) and the local-local & hyper-local type of retailers (in this case, Shoe Station & Southeast Foods).

Dizzy, yet?

One more, this one from the caption under the cover of our local issue he has reproduced on his site:

Big stores, such as Lowe's & Walgreen's are as much part of local communities than any small mom & pop type store. One could argue that these national-local retailers contribute a lot more to local towns in the way of jobs and tax revenues than owner operated businesses.

One could try to argue that, Patty, but one would be wrong. The, er, "national-local retailers" that Gannett and The Clarion-Ledger and Mr. Flanagan love to pander to actually decrease wages and jobs, as they force "mop-and-pop" stores to close. You can't just make stuff up like that, Mr. Flanagan. Even we hicks know how to do research. Better than you'd ever guess, probably.

Mr. Flanagan, ask actually-local (my phrase) merchants just what effect "local-local" retailers (like Hobby Lobby) have on them. The bottom line, sir, is that your corporation is doing everything possible to push these big-box retailers, which is your right. But it is damn cynical, and downright Orwellian, to call your national-national advertising strategy "ShopLocal." And lodging five minutes of hate against me on your blog doesn't change that one damn bit. In fact, I kinda think it proves it.

Meantime, I'm shocked and thrilled that you chose to call me out personally for calling out your company's bullsh!t. Please do it again, because this will help us real local-locally owned media outlets to do even more for our actually-local businesses. You did no favor for The Clarion-Ledger here with this post, which is incidentally called:

Sorry Ms. Ladd Of The Jackson Free Press, Your're Just Wrong. ShopLocal IS Local. (sic)

You and ShopLocal just jumped the shark, dude, at the very moment when you started arguing with the editor/owner of a real-local business about how we should re-define "local." We live and breathe local. And just in case you think we're not up to this little, er, battle of wits over what the word "local" actually means, you'd better think again.

Bring it.

Previous Comments

ID
150469
Comment

So, folks, being that we can just make up a definition of "local" at will, what kind of local are YOU? I think I've decided I will be called "sassy-local" going forward. Anyone else want to claim your handle?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-08-04T18:46:48-06:00
ID
150470
Comment

Oh, and I wonder if Mr. Flanagan knows what happened the last time a national corporate division of the Gannett Corporation declared war on little-ole-us. Google "TDN, Gannett and Jackson Free Press," and you get 714 reasons that the ShopLocal blog ought to have just let this one go. Because, you know, we're sassy-local like that. And we really, really care about our locally owned businesses.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-08-04T18:55:06-06:00
ID
150476
Comment

Confusion #1. Brand new reference/marketing terms: I am a little worried that according to these new definitions set forth in the shop local blog, the term "local" is going to start taking on the same meaning as 100% "natural" only to continue misleading consumers into thinking that that they are making a certain decision with their dollar when in fact, they are not. Confusion #2. If these stores are local, what stores are not? Are these "National-local" businesses (the ones that according to shoplocal, are "stores that have a national footprint, but still on a granular form have local market presences across many communities and cities") considered local because they are actually located in cities alongside mom and pops? Or are they local because the owners of these chain's may or may not live in the community? Not sure exactly what makes them "local" but, if they are: I KNOW that I would not want to live in a place (think especially 10-20 years from now) that has "national-local" chain stores of all varieties. Then every city starts to look the same. What truly makes any city unique after a boom to make "national-local" businesses even more prominent? The fact that shoplocal states that it does, in fact, "focus mainly on the national-local types of retailers" to me, seems to negate their ability to market themselves as a place that encourages shopping locally? If THESE national local places are local---then what stores aren't?

Author
judah
Date
2009-08-04T20:02:08-06:00
ID
150478
Comment

I just put up this comment on the ShopLocal.com(TM) Blog -- it's "awaiting moderation." Todd Stauffer August 4th, 2009 at 9:01 pm #Your comment is awaiting moderation. To anyone who reads the blog, please consider reading the full "local-washing" story run by the Jackson Free Press, a story that was syndicated by many local newsweeklies across the country over the past few weeks. The Local Lie You'll see that Mr. Flanagan's remonstrations above are exactly the sort of "local-washing" that is being talked about -- more and more -- thanks to this story and the work of its author and many more like her. Chain stores create jobs, yes, but the cities and towns where they locate tend to lose more jobs -- often better ones -- when local businesses shut their doors. It just takes longer to see that effect as the chain slowly kills the local businesses. How many local drugstores are left in your community? How about lumber yards? Grocers? Electronics stores? Hopefully it's higher than average, like it is in Jackson -- those are often cool places to live. There's no such thing as "national-local." The word Mr. Flanagan may be looking for is "locale." Shopping in your "locale" is not the same as shopping local, because the measurable benefits are different for a community when you shop local. It's been studied; it's been proven. Quite frankly, it's the same lesson we're learning about corporate-owned "local" newspapers. They simply aren't invested in their towns. No skin in the game -- profits filter up to "corporate" -- and directives filter down. Like, for instance, ShopLocal.com(TM). As to Mr. Flanagan's claim about ShopLocal.com(TM) in Jackson? Go there. See for yourself. http://www.shoplocal.com/clarionledger/sales.aspx NOTHING, aside from ACE (a co-operative owned by its members) is remotely local. Locale? Yes. Many of those chain stores are near where I live. Locally owned? Re-investing in the community? Giving until it hurts? Ownership mingling with customers and co-workers in church or at soccer games? Nope. As we say this week in the JFP, it's not pure evil to shop in chains when you need to or want to. But "Think Local First" is a dictum that I encourage all Americans to take seriously if they'd like to see our economy recover with anything more than service jobs in large "big box" retail stores that source their products from cents-per-day labor. Shopping with local businesses means more money circulating in your local community, more jobs that stay in this country and, ultimately, a little more charm, character and dignity in the cities and town of the United States.

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2009-08-04T20:07:56-06:00
ID
150479
Comment

I'm skeeter-local. Whenever someone wants to go to a national chain for clothes, entertainment, and (especially) food, I buzz around them trying to persuade them to go local and stay in Jackson. Sometimes I get swatted at, but I'm always too quick for them. :) And, honestly, how can anyone choose someplace like Applebee's or Chili's over Cool Al's or Que Sera?

Author
Sarah R
Date
2009-08-04T20:08:20-06:00
ID
150481
Comment

Ladd, if you're sassy-local, can I choose to be sissy-local? ;)

Author
Tim Kynerd
Date
2009-08-04T20:39:01-06:00
ID
150482
Comment

i'm sarcasti-local. as in "yeah, wal-mart's REAL local. i have one a mile from my house. yeah, that's what makes it LOCAL. yeah."

Author
2599
Date
2009-08-04T21:17:38-06:00
ID
150484
Comment

LOL. I love you people. And, shhh, Tim, you know we can't talk about gay stuff in Mississippi!?! We'll ruin our reputation up in Chicago. Also, they haven't opened Todd's earlier comment (above) over on the ShopLocal anti-JFP rant, but someone did post this. I'll paste in case they delete it: Hyper-local girl August 4th, 2009 at 9:58 pm # Isn't it nice that you can create your own definitions of "local," And your own little categories of the word? The rest of us are supposed to accept your corporate-speak definitions to rationalize that the Jackson Free Press is wrong, I guess. Unfortunately, outside of your little Gannett/ShopLocal world, where the rest of the free world is using the correct definition of "local," the Jackson Free Press is absoluately correct. Sorry. You might want to hire a copy editor for your blog, by the way. Your errors and week sentence construction hurt your credibility. I shop in big box stores all the time, but you can't convince me that shopping there is supporting local businesses.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-08-04T21:33:50-06:00
ID
150485
Comment

i admit it. target gets some biz from me when i'm that way. even (cringe) wal-mart in a pinch. but i do my best to seek out local options when i can. oh, by the way @hyper local girl: the CL wouldn't know the proper use of the English language if Merriam and Webster both were to come back from the dead and give a grammar lesson. Syntax? Isn't that the upcharge you pay on alcohol and gambling? Please. The day the CL has a paper free of egregious errors in their use of the English language is the day I'll dance naked on Capital Street.

Author
2599
Date
2009-08-04T21:51:35-06:00
ID
150487
Comment

[quote]The day the CL has a paper free of egregious errors in their use of the English language is the day I'll dance naked on Capital Street. [/quote] Thank god that'll never happen. :D I've been subjected to the Clarion Liar's sloppy skills since before Gannett took over and made things worse.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2009-08-04T22:07:26-06:00
ID
150488
Comment

2599, all of us hit big-box occasionally. (Although *never* Wal-Mart for us; the worst.) That's why "Think Local First" is so important. And our newspaper goes all out to support local businesses. The truth is, everyone knows that the Ledger is a cheerleader for corporate retail/restaurants. That's their choice, for better or worse. But that's different than pretending that you're not and using ShopLocal in such a backward way, thus treating us all like we're stupid. That's just an insult.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-08-04T22:28:07-06:00
ID
150489
Comment

Iron, I think you should be curmudga-local. Cool?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-08-04T22:29:17-06:00
ID
150491
Comment

Not many choices to shop local in Clinton.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-08-04T22:37:18-06:00
ID
150492
Comment

OK, Todd's comment (above) still isn't on the ShopLocal blog, but this one just showed up, reprinted in case they delete, and throwing Patty's "local" list back at him: tallboytye August 4th, 2009 at 11:06 pm # REALLY?????? 1. McDade's Market-Local, because we shop there ALOT. 2. Shoe Station-Chain 3. Hobby Lobby-Chain 4. Shoe Gallery-Chain 5. Southeast Foods-never heard of it 6. Sam's Stock Room-WTF is this? 7. City Wide Cleaners-wadaya clean? 8. Bath Fitter-you're kidding!? 9. Fads & Frames-Sure 10. Lee Michael's Fine Jewelry and Distinctive Gifts-Absolutely 11. Batte Furniture-200yrs old 12. Steen & Beaver-is this the place in Byram with the firework lights above it? 13. Lemuria-Absolutely local 14. At Home Seniorcare, -WOW. was there a coupon for this!? 15. Craft Office Plus-Congrats. Here's the point. Why not take a train ride down and see what the hell kind of "local" you are talking about here. Make up 1,000 different definitions of local, buddy, but only 2 out of your 15 even ring a bell. I'm afraid you have awaken the "local" bear in the woods on this one. Also, note that we can't find any of the real-local places on that list on the ShopLocal Jackson site. So if they were once, they're not now. Maybe all the Goliaths ran them off! (Is that you Tye-one-on-Local, our groovy downtown LOCAL restaurateur extraordinaire? Love that red sauce; still thinking about it! Back for more soon.) And before I go to bed, I'll say it again: BRING IT, GANNETT. We love our local businesses. Figure it out.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-08-04T22:41:05-06:00
ID
150493
Comment

We'll let you shop local over here, Bubba. Bedroom communities will be stronger if people in the suburbs learn to support the city they feed off of, anyway. And not the big-boxers that feed off us.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-08-04T23:02:43-06:00
ID
150494
Comment

I was detouring around a wreck on 55 today and passed McDade's on Fortification and thought to myself that looks like a place I need to go. Going to check it out soon.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-08-04T23:20:31-06:00
ID
150495
Comment

You should! The McDades are an excellent example of why supporting local matters. They went into stores that were abandoned by grocery chains, including in Westland Plaza, where it was desperately needed. They are bona fide heroes in Jackson. OK, good night, Bubba-Local (can't get much better than that one). Sassy-local is over and out.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-08-04T23:26:59-06:00
ID
150497
Comment

Bubba, the McDade's on Fortification is fantastic! I do almost all of my grocery shopping there. I'm about to troll his blog. We'll see if my post makes it through:

Tom Head
August 5th, 2009 at 6:05 am

Mr. Flanagan,

You should hire a local copyeditor.

A local copyeditor, for the record, would be a copyeditor in or near Chicago. You can't hire me and still call me a local, because I live in Jackson, Mississippi.

See how that works?

Now, I understand the importance of "shopping local" by your definition, e.g. picking up groceries at a national chain store in Jackson rather than a national chain store in, say, Raleigh, North Carolina. That's an important distinction to make, because the 14-hour commute would be inconvenient. But most people don't have to be told this, so telling people to "shop local" generally means you're telling them to shop at locally-owned businesses.

Saying that people "shop local" because they spend money at national chains in their area is like saying that I'm a locavore because I never eat food that's more than five feet away from my face.

Author
Tom Head
Date
2009-08-05T05:07:51-06:00
ID
150498
Comment

The McDades on Fortification is close to where I work so of course I go there often, the meat department is excellent and if you haven't gotten some of the McDade labeled pimento cheese you are missing out!

Author
GLewis
Date
2009-08-05T05:52:28-06:00
ID
150499
Comment

My favorite new word(s) for the day "Litter-Ledger"! Love it!

Author
thabian
Date
2009-08-05T06:03:51-06:00
ID
150504
Comment

Y'all, there was a new ShopLocal post last night around midnight on the Orwellian blog. I swear pre-programmed robots are doing this; try to actually *read* it: Announcing Support For Hyper-Local Content Targeting - Down To The Latitude / Longitude Level Proud to roll-out a new API capability today that will allow users of the SmartDeivery web service to query in-store promotional content at the most precise geo-location level: by a user's latitude & longitude pair. This is a big step in ensuring the closest store location(s) to a user are selected by the ShopLocal system, as it removes the dependency on ZIP code centroids (and the inaccuracy that comes from lumping all users within a given ZIP code into one specific normalized & central pin point). The team even went the extra mile by building a system that allows for the two different versions of lat & long data, both radian and decimal, to be accepted. A "centroid"? Truly, I'd prefer to talk about the McDades, Johnny Evans, Mr. Scurlock, Jeff Good ...

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-08-05T07:45:34-06:00
ID
150505
Comment

Oh, and the robot still hasn't let Todd's comment (above) onto the site. Reminds me of the time one of the Ledger's recent publishers--forgot which one--wrote a full-page house ad railing against local publications, including us, for fighting the TDN scheme -- and then David Hampton wouldn't let us respond in a letter because it was an "ad" that blasted us. So this robot says that I (by name) and the JFP are "misinformed" about "national-local" and then won't allow our post in to respond? What a joke.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-08-05T07:47:55-06:00
ID
150511
Comment

[quote]Iron, I think you should be curmudga-local. Cool?[/quote] I'm cool with it. Someone has to be the voice of reason around here, and I can manage it well. :D

Author
Ironghost
Date
2009-08-05T08:02:06-06:00
ID
150512
Comment

So is NASA considered "national-local" or "universal-local?" Or could it be "galaxy-local?"

Author
chip
Date
2009-08-05T08:03:58-06:00
ID
150513
Comment

I love the fact that IG has now been identified as a curmudgeon under several different online identities for at least 17 years. :o) Sir, you're a treasure and I apologize if I ever suggested otherwise. Oh, and I claim vocal-local.

Author
Tom Head
Date
2009-08-05T08:08:05-06:00
ID
150516
Comment

Has "Don't-you-know-I'm-local" been claimed yet?

Author
chip
Date
2009-08-05T08:15:20-06:00
ID
150517
Comment

Well then, from sitting here in New York, I claim wish-I-was-local.

Author
amy
Date
2009-08-05T08:15:42-06:00
ID
150521
Comment

I am going to have to get a picture to post the next time I see Chef 'Cool' Al shopping at McDade's in Mayfair! Does 'Coastal Local' work??

Author
Macedonian
Date
2009-08-05T08:25:59-06:00
ID
150527
Comment

I divorced C.L. a long time ago. The relationship was just never going to work for so many reasons. I, like the other people of Jackson and the Metro area, deserve so much more than C.L. is giving, but, as importantly, I deserve some desire on the part of C.L. to serve me as a news provider. I finalized the divorce when I realized that rather than buying a real newspaper, I was funding an organization that couldn't care less about getting little ole me here in Jackson, MS the news. And, 2599, you aren't ever going to get to dance naked on the street, so go ahead and buy you some really neat clothes from a local store. McDades rocks and I love shopping at both their Belhaven and Maywood Mart stores. Real personal service and attention with a smile. I am not a number moving through swiping my cc. I am a human being, there; employees look me in the eye and smile and we talk and they unload my cart and carry my packages and write down the name of an item that I mention I'd like to see in the store. I admit that I like Target, occasionally, and I am glad a CVS is near me (whose pharmacist used to be at Brent, I think), but set me down in a Walmart and I feel like I have been dropped into an enormous hell, through which I cannot find my way and out of which I so want to get. I feel like an anonymous entity traversing a desert filed with stuff, lined up on racks. Take it or leave it. No one to ask about anything. If you do find someone to ask, they don't know any answers. They don't care whether you get an answer or not. Though, to be fair, the Walmart in Wiggins was a God-send for my kids in Biloxi after Katrina. But, life is never either or for me; it is always both and. And,this local thing, for me, boils down to whether or not the merchant is being a part of community, connecting, caring about, being integrated into, supporting the foundation of the community and cooperating arm in arm with other shopkeepers and merchants [be they moms and pops or big daddy's and big mama's], not running them off, and serving the best interests of the shoppers AND THEIR COMMUNITY as well as providing them with "stuff." [Maybe I've had too much caffiene already today.] I get that when I shop, e.g., at McDades. I don't get it, e.g., when I shop at Walmart.

Author
J.T.
Date
2009-08-05T08:49:22-06:00
ID
150529
Comment

Chip, I'm thinkin' ... galaxy-local. Nicely done. And claim that other one right now as your very own. And "vocal-local" is one way to put it, Tom. ;-P How about "LOCAL-this." Too aggressive? Cheers, all.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-08-05T08:51:37-06:00
ID
150530
Comment

Oh, I forgot: may I please have "folkle-local"?

Author
J.T.
Date
2009-08-05T08:58:36-06:00
ID
150531
Comment

A couple more links to get your RealLocal™ knickers in a twist: http://www.aboutshoplocal.com/ And look at all them, er, "local" logos: http://www.aboutshoplocal.com/aboutus_clients.html

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-08-05T08:58:40-06:00
ID
150532
Comment

Done, J.T. You are now folkie-local.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-08-05T08:59:58-06:00
ID
150534
Comment

Thanks, Donna, I love my new tag. Gonna paint it on a sign and hang it near my computer and in my heart.

Author
J.T.
Date
2009-08-05T09:07:04-06:00
ID
150535
Comment

Ok, don't-you-know-I'm-local it is! I agree J.T. It is great to walk into McDade's and actually have a conversation with a worker and then later see that same person out at a local event. I also like recognizing the workers there and vice versa.

Author
chip
Date
2009-08-05T09:09:39-06:00
ID
150536
Comment

A couple more links to get your RealLocal™ knickers in a twist: http://www.aboutshoplocal.com/ STAPLES? According to their store locator, there aren't any stores within 100 miles of Clinton! How the hell are they local??? Since I moved down here and married a native, can I be Adopta-local? ;)

Author
Lady Havoc
Date
2009-08-05T09:21:21-06:00
ID
150537
Comment

Well, most of the good handles are already taken (especially "folkle-local") but I guess I'm going to have to go with "local yokel". BTW, wouldn't the stores mentioned by Mr. Flanagan be better described as "local-esque" ("local-ish" if you prefer) or possibly just "faux-local"? ;) Also BTW, I concur with the numerous opinions that Wal-Mart is indeed the seventh circle of Hell. Interesting side-note: when I lived in Fayetteville, Arkansas in the early 1990s, and Sam Walton used to drive his hoopty pickup truck around town wearing dirty overalls and a John Deere cap, I could have called Wal-Mart "actual-local." What a difference 20 years makes!

Author
Michele1970
Date
2009-08-05T09:47:38-06:00
ID
150539
Comment

Once again the JFP shames Gannett. I didn't even know this "shop local" blog existed until I read about it here, however.

Author
kudzuking
Date
2009-08-05T10:31:44-06:00
ID
150540
Comment

Here's another new comment on the "ShopLocal" blog. Good one, too: Greg August 5th, 2009 at 10:19 am # I'm NOT local to this argument (I've never been to Jackson, but hear it's lovely), but I live in a 140,000-person Colorado community where our only "local" newspaper is a Gannett rag (making it, I suppose, "national-local"). Over the past year, I've watched as this "national-local" champion of local jobs and taxes has shuttered its printing press and outsourced the job to Denver. I suppose you could argue that Gannett's definition of "local" simply broadened and now encompasses another community (which of course is local to the people who live there), which has benefited from jobs created to print our newspaper. Over the past five years, the "local" paper has hired three publishers and two editors, who have come from Arizona, Texas and California. I don't know where the latest publisher is from, but it's not Colorado. Again, I suppose one could argue that this national-local company provided a local job to a local of another locale. And finally, the newsroom has fallen to an anemic five reporters, or one per 28,000 residents, down from about 12-15 just three years ago. And that, sadly, has a truly local impact. Not only have real jobs been lost to keep Gannett's bottom line higher than any other newspaper company in America, but the real locals (people like me) are being starved for news and information thanks to a lack of reporters, the result of decisions made in McLean, Va. Count yourselves lucky, Jackson locals, to have a local champion of the local culture and ethos in the JFP.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-08-05T10:34:10-06:00
ID
150541
Comment

Depending on your frame of reference, everything could be local. I mean, I know most of us don't consider Alpha Centauri and Earth local, but from Sagittarius, we could be considered "Local".

Author
Ironghost
Date
2009-08-05T10:42:00-06:00
ID
150542
Comment

Depending on your frame of reference, almost nothing could be local - ie buying produce at nearby market/grocery vs. growing produce in your own garden.

Author
chip
Date
2009-08-05T10:51:39-06:00
ID
150543
Comment

Oh. My. This is interesting. Can I be real local? I was born over at the old Baptist Hospital even though I don't sound like it. BTW, has anyone carried out a similar analysis on the CL that the folks in Colorado have?

Author
Pilgrim
Date
2009-08-05T10:55:01-06:00
ID
150546
Comment

I like McDade's too. In fact, if anyone associated with McDade's is reading this: there's an empty Kroger store at the corner of Raymond and McDowell roads. A brand new subdivision just opened right down the road and two new schools are being built nearby as well. There's only one grocery store in that area and you can make a killing and provide much-needed competition. Think about it!

Author
golden eagle
Date
2009-08-05T11:20:03-06:00
ID
150547
Comment

OK all, ShopLocal has inspired us to have a contest to get all of you to support local businesses and residents by posting your LocalList over on Jackpedia (then we can pull them to use in the print edition!). We will have a drawing from everyone who posts a list by end the do THIS Friday for a $100 gift card to Tye's restaurant downtown, as well as two $25 gift cards to Sal & Mookies/Broad Street/Bravo and to Hal & Mal's. This is easy to do; it's just a list! AND we'll give a $25 gift certificate to the person who posts the best local name on your LocalList. See get thee to Jackpedia's new LocalPage right now. For a sample, see the one I started for myself. Here's a chance to use your Internet time to help local businesses. Just do it! And the whole damn thing is dedicated to our friends at the Gannett/ShopLocal/Clarion-Ledger conglomerate.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-08-05T11:26:01-06:00
ID
150549
Comment

The AAN Newswire picked up this ShopLocal silliness today: August 05, 2009 Gannett Redefines the Meaning of a 'Local' Business Jackson Free Press - posted 1:44pm Last week, Jackson Free Press was one of the 22 AAN papers that have published a version of Stacy Mitchell's story on "local washing," the phenomenon in which large, national corporations don the figurative garb of natives in order to co-opt the "buy local" movement. JFP editor Donna Ladd wrote a column in the same issue placing Gannett's ShopLocal(TM) squarely in the local-washing camp. Yesterday, Patrick Flanagan, the senior director of product management for ShopLocal, answered JFP in a blog post that purported to "clear up the confusion around the meaning of 'local'" by defining it in a way that manages to include every bricks-and-mortar business in America, including CVS and Wal-Mart. Industry News ¶ Email This | Permalink | Comments | Add to del.icio.us

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-08-05T11:46:55-06:00
ID
150550
Comment

I'd love to see a McDade's at the old Kroger location in Clinton. Ever since Corner Market changed to Warehouse Depot, and they got rid of their deli, it just hasn't been the same. Kroger and Well-Mart could use the local competition!

Author
Lady Havoc
Date
2009-08-05T11:47:42-06:00
ID
150551
Comment

Remember, you can flip through our entire "Local Lie" issue here.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-08-05T11:49:00-06:00
ID
150553
Comment

I agree with y'all that it would be great to see McDade's with even more locations. And the way to make that happen is spend every grocery dime you can there, so they can afford to move into more locations. Be hardcore about buying local whenever possible, and our city and community will benefit.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-08-05T11:53:48-06:00
ID
150554
Comment

Any body know if a company's corporate location affects the sales tax paid to the local community on items bought in that municipality in Mississippi?

Author
JDLW
Date
2009-08-05T11:55:39-06:00
ID
150556
Comment

Lady- I don't think Kroger will sell a building to a competitor. The ones that closed down in the Delta when Kroger built new store alway were sold to some other type of business. If I remember right an friend of mine that is a store mangager for Krogers told me that years ago. But I could be wrong I suffer even worse from CRS now..lol

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-08-05T12:17:10-06:00
ID
150558
Comment

Yes, being "local" affects taxes and economics in many ways. In our last issue, Jonathan O'Keefe wrote about this in our "local" issue last week. It starts: For every $100 spent at a locally owned business, $45 stays in the local economy. That is the finding of a study by Civic Economics, which found that shopping at a chain store only renders $13 back into the local economy. By shopping locally, residents can actively invest in their communities and reap the benefits of a stronger local economy. When consumers spend money in locally owned shops, business owners are more likely than their corporate counterparts to invest that money back into the local economy, the study says. Their money goes toward a variety of local entities such as suppliers, marketing personnel, accountants and printers, all necessary for businesses to survive. The Mississippi Tax Commission reports that .18 percent of the 7 percent state sales tax, goes into the local economy when shopping inside the city's limits. Many local business owners are residents in or close to the community where their business resides. As a result, when business owners make a profit, that money stays in the area through taxes—such as state income and property taxes—which is also true of the employees who work at the local business. "Labor cost is between 50 and 70 percent (of a business' spending), and with smaller business it is closer to 70 percent," says Rod Aldridge of the Fondren Association of Businesses. "… If you have up to 70 percent going to wages, those wages turn right back into the (local) economy." While shopping at locally owned businesses is the best way to keep money in the local economy, other options exist to support your community with your spending. First, don't buy anything online you can buy locally. If you must go to a big-box outlet, choose one within the city limits. [more] It's good to see locals are starting to ask these questions. We can do so much more in our area if people will develop a strong local ethos. It's always amazing to me to hear people complain about police and roads, and then do the very things that send our resources to invest in those things locally out of town/state.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-08-05T12:21:08-06:00
ID
150565
Comment

Just posted my local list on Jackpedia. BTW, y'all can call me "localicious"!

Author
andi
Date
2009-08-05T13:21:24-06:00
ID
150566
Comment

Also? I totally hate that Best Buy is selling musical instruments now. Almost as much as I hate Guitar Center. I just found out my favorite locally-owned music shop in Memphis, where I bought my first guitar, is no more, and probably due to the fact that they now have a Guitar Center. Blah.

Author
andi
Date
2009-08-05T13:28:32-06:00
ID
150567
Comment

I wonder-- Don't larger retailers offer better salaries and benefits than small mom-and-pop shops? Or is that a stereotype that's gone out of style?

Author
JDLW
Date
2009-08-05T13:32:24-06:00
ID
150568
Comment

Lady- I don't think Kroger will sell a building to a competitor. The ones that closed down in the Delta when Kroger built new store alway were sold to some other type of business. If I remember right an friend of mine that is a store mangager for Krogers told me that years ago. But I could be wrong I suffer even worse from CRS now..lol Bubba, I doubt you have any memory problems whatsoever. :) The Kroger here bought, expanded, and moved into the old Winn-Dixie building, so I can give Winn-Dixie credit for not leaving an empty box as a blight on the landscape. Wal-Mart really perfected that art: they'd build a store, then build a bigger store and leave the original one empty.

Author
Lady Havoc
Date
2009-08-05T13:41:53-06:00
ID
150570
Comment

Lady- I don't think Kroger will sell a building to a competitor. The Save-A-Lot on Hanging Moss used to be a Kroger years ago. I can't recall if something else was there in between.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2009-08-05T13:50:39-06:00
ID
150572
Comment

I know that gas station shell at the corner of the lot has been empty since the early 80's.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2009-08-05T14:17:24-06:00
ID
150573
Comment

D- well of course that was me. what a joke these people are. they can hog wash whatever they want but I am local. i mean, really local. i was elated as always to see you guys reporting on all of this, and then to see some BS rebuttal from some dude 740 miles away just made it worse. i too waited for todds post because as soon as i hit the enter button on mine, it was there....no waiting on a moderator or anything. so i'm assuming they have him locked out some way. and BTW, donna's not talking about "red sauce" as in red wine. ha. she's talking about my infamous homemade tomato-basil marinara. everyone go post on the local list, win that gift card, and come try my sauce. ha.

Author
tye d.
Date
2009-08-05T14:26:51-06:00
ID
150575
Comment

LOL. Now, one of the local JFP-haters is faking a friend of ours' name and posting wishfully: K. McNeel August 5th, 2009 at 3:09 pm # Problem is Greg that nobody reads the JFP. It is a little specialty paper read by our hodge podge of specialty alt-krishnas who chant about this sort of thing from time to time when the level of coins in their beggar cups gets low. There aren't 100 people in this metro area of 500,000 who give a damn about their latest semantic tantrum over the definition of local. The funny part is that we know *exactly* who did this. Why do these people make this so easy? And if no one reads us, why has this one guy been obsessing over us for almost seven years now? ;-D

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-08-05T14:30:34-06:00
ID
150577
Comment

Wow. W-O-W. There's so much I want to say, but so much of it has been articulated so well already, I'll just say: kudos, JFP! I mean, hey, not many publications with fewer than "100 people" who "give a damn" about 'em manage to get national (national-local?) companies on the defensive. Well done. ;)

Author
BethIsadora
Date
2009-08-05T15:01:41-06:00
ID
150582
Comment

I have a sign posted on the bulletin board in my writing studio that says: "Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders and says . . ."Oh, hell,. . .she's awake!'" We middle class citizens should adopt the mantra and change the word "Satan" to "those corporate monstrosities who try to rape us and have no intention of having a mutually beneficial relationship with us." So, it would then read: "Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, those corporate monstrosities who try to rape us and have no intention of having a mututally beneficial relationship with us shudder and say. . .'Oh, hell, . . they're awake.'"

Author
J.T.
Date
2009-08-05T16:39:20-06:00
ID
150583
Comment

Thank you, Beth. What's funny is that the Clarion-Ledger's own reader study found that we have more than 60,000 readers. Those guys tickle me; you'd think they'd find something new to obsess over. Life is too short to be so small-minded and goofy. IF they'd put as much energy into building up the city and our real-local businesses as they do in trying to discredit us, Jackson would be a better place. Especially since all they've managed to do is make us stronger in the community.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-08-05T16:41:45-06:00
ID
150586
Comment

Don't larger retailers offer better salaries and benefits than small mom-and-pop shops? Or is that a stereotype that's gone out of style? Check this link for some answers to that question: http://www.newrules.org/retail/key-studies-walmart-and-bigbox-retail#3 one of the studies citied is a Berkeley study in 2007 (warning, it's a PDF) that notes, among other items, that: Looking at the period between 1992 and 2000, we find that the opening of a single Wal-Mart store in a county lowered average retail wages in that county by between 0.5 and 0.9 percent. In the general merchandise sector, wages fell by 1 percent for each new Wal-Mart. And for grocery store employees, the effect of a single new Wal-Mart was a 1.5 percent reduction in earnings. When Wal-Mart entered a county, the total wage bill declined along with the average wage. Factoring in both the impact on wages and jobs, the total amount of retail earnings in a county fell by 1.5 percent for every new Wal-Mart store. Similar effects appeared at the state level. One of the items detailed in the book "Big Box Swindle" is the notion that while the beginning salaries might be OK, the big-box retailers tend to let people go more quickly or otherwise encourage churn because management is given a budget for personnel that they can't exceed. Obviously some mom-and-pops can operate like that as well, but in the aggregate it seems that introducing a Wal-Mart into the market depresses wages. That could be in part because management or professions (think managers of smaller stores, butchers, pharmacists) end up in lower-paying hourly jobs once the big box is dominant.

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2009-08-05T17:19:39-06:00
ID
150588
Comment

Don't larger retailers offer better salaries and benefits than small mom-and-pop shops? Or is that a stereotype that's gone out of style? It's actually a myth, JW. You've been a journalist; do a little research. It's not hard to find if you're really interested and haven't already made up your mind. ;-) And it's not just about "small mom-and-pop shops"; big-box targets businesses that have a decent number of employees to run them out of business. They'll often suppress prices and until the local one is out of business; then they'll raise them. The Ledger has even tried that on us. Early on, at least before our readerships started coming in line (theirs dropping and ours rising), it was remarkable to see the rates they were offering businesses to compete with our rates, considering how big they were and how little we were. Thankfully, it didn't work for them. They've apparently managed to instill no loyalty to speak of from readers or businesses over the years. (Some individual people like Rick and Marshall and Orley have, but very little for the entire company.) Now, the Ledger is laying off people left and right because the model doesn't work. Take another example. Starbucks, for instance, has long opened stores in neighborhoods right next to the local place. In the East Village, I watched them open TWO Starbucks across the street from each other next to a local place. The local one closed. The other thing the big guys do is run out so many of the locals until you have no choice but to shop at the big-box places, especially in certain categories. That genie is out of the bottle for many things (like decently priced and stylish clothing, for instance), and we'll only reverse it by supporting local however we can. (Starting with places like Orange Peel, Bargain Boutique and Repeat Street are good ways to buy clothes.) Many people don't care about these things, and never bother to do any homework or pay attention to the facts. They just support corporations that take their money out of town, and treat employees horribly, and often not give them training they can take into higher-paying jobs. The Clarion-Ledger is terrible about this; I feel so sorry for the young journalists who pass through there, get no training worth a damn and then end up in PR at some government agency. Many of them clearly have potential, but they need to work for a company with high standards that believe in them. Anyway, that was a rambling answer, but I urge you to do some homework about why supporting local business matter. This is a very serious issue.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-08-05T17:33:11-06:00
ID
150589
Comment

Ah, I see that Todd offered a better answer before I hit "submit." Thanks, iTodd. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-08-05T17:34:00-06:00
ID
150590
Comment

Maybe we're operating with different definitions of mom-and-pop and big-box. I worked in retail as a cashier when I first moved to Jackson with a owner-franchise retailer at Northpark Mall for minumum wage and no benefits, while a JCPenney's associate would make about a dollar more an hour with medical benefits, etc. I went with the mom-and-pop because it was hiring and JCP was not and worked there for six months until something better came along. Can you see the surface comparison I'm making from an employee point of view?

Author
JDLW
Date
2009-08-05T17:39:42-06:00
ID
150591
Comment

And I typed a comment back before I saw yours. I'm basing some of the question on my personal expereince but I think it does still stand to wonder if we're all working with the same definitions and there's room for debate there.

Author
JDLW
Date
2009-08-05T17:44:40-06:00
ID
150592
Comment

There's always room for debate, but we need something to debate in order to have one. No one here is disagreeing that individual people will sometimes get better pay, for a while, at a big-box outlet. That's the specific trying to argue the big picture, whatever that fallacy is called. We've said that happens. What we've also pointed out is the research that says that areas with these retailers tend to end up with lower wages and taxes from their businesses (and that's not even getting into the tax breaks that some folks give to lure them there). My suggestion is to spend some time doing some research and bring something new back to the table for us to chew on. It sounds a bit like you're just trying to take the other side to be taking it (or, perhaps JW, because you and your alter ego like to when it's the JFP?). ;-) But like I said, bring something substantive and substantiated and let's have at it.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-08-05T18:10:04-06:00
ID
150593
Comment

I also remember a time when you didn't want to drive into Belhaven because you thought it was so deep into the city from the suburbs, so maybe we're just playing with a different deck of cards on this one, and will never agree? Happens.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-08-05T18:11:08-06:00
ID
150594
Comment

I do shop local out here in the suburbs. I go to Polk's Drugs and Brandon Discount Drugs for my medical needs instead of CVS or the new Walgreens. But while I do emergency shopping at Ramey's Supermarket because it's closer to my house, I also shop Kroger weekly for better selection than I get at Ramey's. And I buy my kids' clothes at Target or Wal-mart because there isn't anyone else in my suburbs to buy them from affordably. I don't mind agreeing to disagree. And I would hope we could be doing it without being disagreeable. I thought I was just asking two nagging questions I didn't see answered in the article. PS I haven't changed in that I don't like to drive too far--isn't that part of the "shop local" aesthetic, too? :)

Author
JDLW
Date
2009-08-05T18:22:54-06:00
ID
150599
Comment

The Save-A-Lot on Hanging Moss used to be a Kroger years ago. I can't recall if something else was there in between. If you mean the one in the shopping center at Hanging Moss & Forest Avenue, that grocery was originally a Jitney Jungle. Some of my family used to shop there back in the 1970s. I miss Jitney Jungle. But I also dig McDade's. Sissy-Local (I'm liking it, it kind of sounds like I belong in a Welty short story.)

Author
Tim Kynerd
Date
2009-08-05T19:36:03-06:00
ID
150602
Comment

Tee, hee, Tim. I feel great tonight. It's clearly been a good 24 hours for awareness-raising on the "real-local" issue in Jackson (and across the country). Thanks to all of you, and to ShopLocal (TM) for setting off this sh!tstorm in the first place. I hope he doesn't get in trouble over it. The rest of you: Keep those local-names coming (we chose local-names for some prominent people around town today for the next issue; watch for it next Wednesday!). And keep posting those LocalLists at jackpedia.com! If if you will allow me: I just love the JFP Nation. I've just never worked alongside such passionate people. Thank you all for what you do for our city and state! Keep up the good fight, folks. We're winning it. ;-D

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-08-05T20:12:24-06:00
ID
150606
Comment

I had always sort of passively wondered (since I hadn't researched it) if Save-A-Lot was part of the Winn-Dixie chain; turns out they're not. They're owned by SUPERVALU INC. a chain of stores that includes Jewel-Osco, Albertson's, Cub Foods, Lucky and Shop 'n Save. (Those are the brands I've heard of...they own more.) http://www.supervalu.com/sv-webapp/ Their net sales would annualize at something approaching $44 billion a year, putting SUPERVALU INC. at 51st on the Fortune 500, right next to Safeway, PepsiCo, Kraft and Sears Holdings. Kroger, ranked 22nd on the Fortune 500, has revenues of $76 billion. (CVS is three rungs higher at 19th, while Walgreens is 36th at $59b, one rung below Microsoft.)

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2009-08-05T20:28:30-06:00
ID
150621
Comment

I thought you might be interested that I commented on this on my national blog: http://dscriber.com/home/276-gannetts-thuggery-is-recession-proof.html Greg Campbell

Author
gcampbell70
Date
2009-08-06T09:10:28-06:00
ID
150625
Comment

Great post! Thanks, Greg. One thing: In this particular battle, it wasn't the local Clarion-Ledger people who engaged us; it's some national ShopLocal (TM) guy up in Chicago. However, the locals have gone down a similar road in the past: Just Google "TDN, Gannett, Jackson Free Press" to see what I mean. That one didn't work for them, either. Their multi-boxes are sitting all over the metro, at the spots that still allow them, with "for rent" signs in most of the windows. We, on the other hand, got a lot of new spots out of the controversy -- using good roll-up-your-sleeves free enterprise and public relations -- and have a great relationship with owners of other local publications we didn't know when Goliath tried to bully us into paying them to distribute us. Long live the Mississippi Independent Publishers Alliance!

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-08-06T10:21:24-06:00
ID
150626
Comment

Another post about this controversy on this blog. Also, Todd is posting about it on his blog.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-08-06T10:28:15-06:00
ID
150630
Comment

That's great that you shop local in the suburbs, JLDW. We all should shop local wherever possible on a regular basis. ("Shop Local First") I'm not trying to be disagreeable with you. I've seen you post on this topic in other places, and you have a different tone and seem to have your mind made up against the shop-local concept -- so I sense of bit of concern trolling here. Thus, my comments. Not driving much is very honorable, but I didn't get the sense that was your biggest concern way back then, but I could be mistaken. It's been a while. As for clothes shopping: This is one of the biggest challenges with shopping locally, no doubt. If you can afford high-end boutiques (and fit into what they offer), you're fine. But for those of us who cannot spend that kind of money on clothes, it's definitely a bigger challenge. Sadly, this is one of the very results we're talking about. When I was growing up, you could buy mid-priced and lower-priced clothing from local shops. But, alas, here came Wal-Mart, and many of those shops closed on the court square. There is also the issue, that I hear about sometimes, about some boutiques not treating everyone well, especially people of color. I've said this before about local businesses: If you're going to be snotty (or worse) to customers, then you don't deserve the support of us all. Free enterprise and competition should take care of that, but the big-box outlets have such an advantage that the little guys don't even get to compete to the point of survival of the fittest (and most dedicated to good service). We desperately need more clothing options locally. Every time we do fashion shoots, we tend to be faced with very expensive clothes, and vintage (which I love) for the lower-priced stuff. We need middle ground. Someone want to open something? Of course, we'd all have to support them for them to succeed against big-box. So we're back to square one. All of that said, even if you have to go to chains to get clothes you can afford, you don't have to buy your bananas at the same time. We can make choices that help our community, and it sounds like you make many of those. Many people don't think about it, though, and those are the people who need to hear the message that our community (whether city or suburbs) is only as strong as our local business community. And that does not mean Wal-Mart, Target or CVS.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-08-06T11:10:32-06:00
ID
150631
Comment

I think part of the reason clothing at boutiques is so expensive is because of the competition from other national retailers. Some of these boutiques have to charge more in order to stay afloat. At least I hope that's the reason, because frankly some of the things I've seen in boutiques are not worth the high price tag - because it's poor quality, or the fact that it's a tank top that costs $70, things like that. The only local clothing stores I can really afford are the consignment shops, which are great, but again, finding my size is difficult, and you never know what you're going to find - sometimes I realize why someone else decided to get rid of something when I try it on! ;) But then there are those times when you find really cool stuff. It would be nice to have a store that sold both new and affordable clothing.

Author
andi
Date
2009-08-06T11:29:43-06:00
ID
150632
Comment

I like consignment and vintage stores, too, Andi. But I'm with you that we need shops that sell affordable clothes. The boutiques are great, and we want to support them however possible. You do wonder: From a business-plan standpoint, wouldn't some hip local clothing stores with mid-range ranges (and lots of sizes) draw more people than the ones with high prices and limited sizes? It seems like the difference would/could be a wash at best. I'm not expert on retail, admittedly. But I sure would love to buy *all* my clothes at local stores. Right now, that's very hard to do. But I do try to buy everything possible within the city limits of Jackson at least. Of course, the demise of local department stores by conglomerates speaks to this as well, I assume. BTW, if people have ideas on local clothing stores with affordable (not cheap, but mid-range) prices, please let us know. We want to get the word out.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-08-06T11:38:29-06:00
ID
150633
Comment

Yes I agree that mid-range prices would be great, or even a store big enough to have a section of lower price (clearance?), a mid-range section, and another section of the higher-price, designer stuff -- they would draw in more people that way from all walks of life. I'm not a retail expert either so I have no idea how to make that happen, but it sure would be nice!

Author
andi
Date
2009-08-06T11:43:00-06:00
ID
150658
Comment

Here's another good blog post about this ShopLocal battle with Gannett. Very interesting stuff. And he links to a Time piece about the benefits of shopping locally: And what about that higher cost of local goods? After all, big-box stores got to be big because their prices are low. Susan Witt says that the difference falls away once you consider the increase in local employment as well as the relationships that grow when people buy from people they know. (Plus, one could argue, lower transportation, and therefore environmental, costs, and you know what you're getting—which as we've recently seen with suspected contamination in toys and other products from China, can be a concern.) [...] Another argument for buying local is that it enhances the "velocity" of money, or circulation speed, in the area. The idea is that if currency circulates more quickly, the money passes through more hands—and more people have had the benefit of the money and what it has purchased for them. "If you're buying local and not at a chain or branch store, chances are that store is not making a huge profit," says David Morris, Vice President of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, a nonprofit economic research and development organization based in Minneapolis and Washington, D.C. "That means more goes into input costs—supplies and upkeep, printing, advertising, paying employees—which puts that money right back in the community."

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-08-06T18:56:22-06:00
ID
150660
Comment

Here's the link to that blog entry: http://jrtaff.wordpress.com/2009/08/06/i-will-tag-this-post-local/ Here's one part I like from the Time piece, as it really speaks to the "Think Local First" notion: The point is not that communities should suddenly seek to be self-sufficient in all ways, but rather, says Boyle, "to shift the balance. Can you produce more locally? Of course you can if the raw materials are there, and the raw materials are often human beings."

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2009-08-06T19:00:57-06:00
ID
150689
Comment

I'm claiming Chaucer-Local. Seems only fitting....

Author
J A Strong
Date
2009-08-08T18:33:45-06:00

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