This Black Friday, Shop Local First | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

This Black Friday, Shop Local First

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Black Friday this, and Black Friday that. Do you really, truly want to get up with the chickens and wait outside some big-box retailer to save a few dollars on the same gift everyone else is buying? Truly?

There is a better way. This Friday, and throughout the holiday season, please think local first. Remember that you can make a serious difference in the city, and help hasten our Renaissance, by choosing local businesses and shops that re-invest more money locally over big-box retailers that haul your money out of town and, often, out of state and, increasingly, out of the country.

OK, so we're predictable. You might even be tired of hearing us repeat our local mantra. But it can't be said or heard enough.

You simply have no better opportunity than this Friday, Nov. 27, to invest in your city by spending your hard-earned dollars at locally owned businesses first, and any business located in the city limits second.

And while we're repeating ourselves, we're going to remind you what a difference it makes to shop local first. According to studies, when you spend $100 at a locally owned business, only $27 of it leaves the local economy—usually for supplies not available at home. The other $73 stays in the local economy, going into business-to-business transactions, salaries, marketing, accounting and so on.

When you spend $100 at a non-locally owned business, a whopping $57 of it leaves the local economy, and only $43 stays behind. That gap can mean the difference in all sorts of services to make life more pleasant and safer here, not to mention provide amenities that keep our young people here and attract other smart folks to come be part of our local revolution.

Sales taxes also matter, and that is the part where we ask you to choose Jackson first whenever possible, and especially if you need to go to a big-box store for something or another. Jackson gets 18.5 percent of the sales taxes spent in the city limits, and it's money we need. And if you don't live in Jackson, please spend some of your money here, too: Jackson is the capitol city and serves the entire state.

Finally, remember that shopping locally is just, well, cooler. The trend across the U.S., we're happy to report, is away from cookie-cutter gifts you can get in any city; the best gifts are always authentic in some way or another and, preferably, made in the same city where they're bought. So, please shop with our local artists, craftsmen (Chimneyville, the coolest shopping event of the year, happens Dec. 4-6), farmer's markets and all the cool shops scattered throughout the city.

This holiday, give the gift of local to both your city and your loved ones. It matters.

Previous Comments

ID
153671
Comment

Ronni I would love to get up with the chickens and shop; however, this year I am broke and can't do it. Nevertheless, you are right Jacksonians please support Jackson businessess!!!!!

Author
Powerman
Date
2009-11-26T09:26:55-06:00
ID
153721
Comment

I'm with you, baquan2000. It's a shame that Metro Center has become a deserted island. It is a well built mall and I like it much better than North Park. The problem started in this City a long time ago: More specifically, with the intergration of schools and white flight. The "better businesses" did not follow the green, they followed the white. The same thing happened to Jackson Mall. It was once a wonderful shopping area. Gayfers moved to North Park and blacks followed them. The same with JC Penneys. The Jackson community followed them to North Park. Each sell that leaves Jackson for Madison or Rankin County makes a serious financial dent in the City's coffer. We are sending our money for schools, streets, fire and police protection to those areas. Shopping Jackson only makes sense. All of the areas contiguous to Jackson are marketing, i.e., "Shop Flowood." Wake up Jackson.

Author
justjess
Date
2009-11-30T11:32:51-06:00
ID
153722
Comment

Actually, the problem w/ Metrocenter is it's location. If you don't live in S. Jackson, or maybe Clinton, it is not convenient at all. Also, the last time I was there, maybe 4 or so yrs ago, the stores that remained there left a little to be desired.

Author
bill_jackson
Date
2009-11-30T12:07:26-06:00
ID
153725
Comment

Justjess is right...as whites moved north (Madison Co) and east (Rankin County) in the 1980s and 1990s to get out of Jackson, more stuff got built in Ridgeland and Flowood to be convenient to them. After 25+ years of racial and economic migration, the Metrocenter was bound to become the least attractive, least desirable mall to shop and do business within for both black and white Jacksonians. Even Clinton is trying to pull more businesses within its borders to keep its residents from having to travel to Jackson for shopping. Frankly Baquan I wouldn't limit the discussion to just Metrocenter. South Jackson as a whole appears to be withering on the vine to me in terms of business development and growth, with the exception of the Walmart at Hwy 18 area.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2009-11-30T12:14:54-06:00
ID
153729
Comment

"as whites moved north (Madison Co) and east (Rankin County) in the 1980s and 1990s to get out of Jackson, more stuff got built in Ridgeland and Flowood to be convenient to them." I think it's fairly evident at this point that "middle-class flight"is a more accurate description.

Author
bill_jackson
Date
2009-11-30T12:39:01-06:00
ID
153730
Comment

Reximus: Now yes it is middle-class flight. Some blacks with the money and means are moving out of Jackson as many whites did before them. I didn't dismiss this fact, I agreed with Justjess that it started out as a white flight trend in the years following integration.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2009-11-30T12:51:17-06:00
ID
153731
Comment

This again? Obviously, the flight started as white flight and has become more middle-class flight, considering the conditions that the white flight caused. Anyone without their head in the sand knows this; it's remarkable that some of you seem to hate any mention, even historic, of "white flight." It was was real, folks. Still is; it just isn't exactly what it used to. Two thoughts at once. White flight, white flight, white flight: It was real, it was evil, and it caused many of our problems now. Face it. And Rex, your post didn't even dispute what Jeff/Justjess said: You're saying that it's middle-class flight "at this point"; they were talking about the 80s and 90s, and presumably before that.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-11-30T12:57:18-06:00
ID
153736
Comment

No Reximus, the accurate description was given by Jeff Lucas. I can bear witness to the fact that his assessment is correct. I was also a part of that "middle class". I have stated these events several times on the JFP. My husband and I were the first African-Americans to move into the Watkins community. It was less than a year that whites vacated the area. Mayor Johnson also lived one street over and that area was also vacated by whites. Next, was Valley North. The same thing happened. "A" black family moved in a "ALL" white families moved out. The next stop was Woodhaven/Woodlea. A black man was arrested and died in jail secondary to the fact that he was not given his nsulin. This man's wife looked white. She negotiated the buying of the property in Woodlea and they built a beautiful home there. This was a NO NO. The same thing happened: Once "A" black family moved in, "ALL" whites moved out of Woodhaven/Woodlea. All of the stories about why they moved (according to realtors who were selling the property) were the same. Now it's Madison Time and there are certain areas where black families have moved in and now whites are moving from these areas. Again, it's not about "middle-class flight:" It's about RACISM and as soon as we can face these issues, we can begin the dialogue. The Jackson Public School racial make-up is representative of white flight. Just saying.

Author
justjess
Date
2009-11-30T13:17:38-06:00
ID
153742
Comment

I simply don't remember white folks ever shopping at the Metro Center. Maybe I'm too young, but it has always been the "black mall" from my recollection. There is nothing there. There are no stores there. We need to encourage small businesses to stay in the mall before we try to get people to shop there. There has to be something there to peek interest. I don't shop at mall's period and it has nothing to do with anything except my preference. I've never been to dogwood; wouldn't go to northpark - if I was given a free gift certificate, I'd give it away if it was for northpark; but, as for the metro, I'd love to see it thrive again. Let's be frank, safety issues is the reason why the metro isn't the same as it once was. Children were getting dropped off there and the mall served as their eight hour baby sitter. They started getting into mischief and ran off the business and thus the customers. Now, the remains lie there praying for a breath of life.

Author
Queen601
Date
2009-11-30T13:32:48-06:00
ID
153746
Comment

I spent time debating this issue with Ronnie Agnew from the Clarion Ledger. He was definitely in the twilight zone and refused to listen to facts surrounding the issues leading to these conditions. If we refuse to face these issues, we are destined to repeat them. We need to continue these "teahable moments" because all of the local TV stations featured North Park, DogWood and the Renaisance. They interviewed young A-Americans who said they were goin to "Dogwood." I wondered if they knew that they were taking their tax dollars to benefit all but their's. I do understand your point, baquan2000 and we will not solve a problem by only focusing on WHY things happened; however, we must be able to acknowledge the history of these events because we have survived more painful and heart-wrenching stories. Let's "Git 'ER DUN"

Author
justjess
Date
2009-11-30T13:50:43-06:00
ID
153747
Comment

Queen601, Metro Center was once a thriving mall with as many white shoppers as blacks. There were all kinds of stores there: McRaes, Gayfers and Sears were the BIG department stores. There was also a movie theater on the Metro-Mall campus. Police protection sucked and black youngsters would sit on tops of cars and some who went inside made it most uncomfortable for decent folks to sit and watch a movie. Now, get it straight: I don't blame white people for the mis-behavior of these youngsters who want to be disrespectful, tear-down, clown and act an ass. It is always interesting that these same kids will go to Madison and follow the dress codes and rules of conduct to the letter.

Author
justjess
Date
2009-11-30T14:00:21-06:00
ID
153749
Comment

For the record, I grew up in the same "Watkins" area, but closer to Hanging Moss. My folks held out there til the late 80s and by the time they moved, that neighborhood was gone, thanks to crime. And when Metro opened it drew quite the diverse crowd, although back then there were a lot more whites still in S Jackson. I think that people are going to shop where it's convenient (no one I know likes driving across town, especially this time of year), and where the shops they like are. I haven't been in Metrocenter for a few years, and have been to Northpark once in the last 3 yrs. I avoid DogWood religously as the traffic out that way sucks.

Author
bill_jackson
Date
2009-11-30T14:10:09-06:00
ID
153751
Comment

"It is always interesting that these same kids will go to Madison and follow the dress codes and rules of conduct to the letter." ---jusjess Because that is not tolerated in Madison county. They will go to JAIL!!!! JPD, as I am sure you are aware, does not own that same reputation. And I do remember the movie theater behind the mall. I think it was on the downfall when i was of age to go to the movies. I even remember the $1.50 movie theater on Meadow Brook. "WE" destroyed it too. "WE" have to have a sense of pride in ourselves in order to keep things that are comparable to what you see in Madison and Ridgeland. AND, we have to have police officers who actually get into the field to correct and protect. NOT just to finally wear a uniform and to be in authority. They have to recognize that a love for their city and it's citizens should be a priority. We have many issues in this city and it can't all be blamed on white flight or anything else white. We need to start being accountable and owning our own responsibility before we can move forward and do better.

Author
Queen601
Date
2009-11-30T14:15:31-06:00
ID
153752
Comment

Stop it, Queen. You're making too much sense!

Author
bill_jackson
Date
2009-11-30T14:21:00-06:00
ID
153754
Comment

I agree with you, Queen. Obviously, all our problems cannot be blamed on white flight. However, the city has never recovered economically from the thousands of families that fled Jackson and Jackson Public Schools started immediately after the Supreme Court forced Mississippi to integrate the schools. Rex, it would be as ridiculous to try to blame problems on only one factor as it would be to ignore a major one.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-11-30T14:24:24-06:00
ID
153755
Comment

And I saw 2 of the worst movies I've ever paid to see at that theatre (Metro) on dates in HS, and used to live at the MeadowBrook Cinema 6 on weekends during Jr Hi.

Author
bill_jackson
Date
2009-11-30T14:25:03-06:00
ID
153756
Comment

Donna, my parents took my older sister out of JPS (Watkins EL) shortly after integration because she got beat up a few times by some African American girls with no provocation. Were my folks racist for that? (we did both graduate from JPS, though)

Author
bill_jackson
Date
2009-11-30T14:30:46-06:00
ID
153757
Comment

I simply don't remember white folks ever shopping at the Metro Center. Maybe I'm too young, but it has always been the "black mall" from my recollection. We used to always shop at Metro, from wayy before Northpark was even around up until my days at Mississippi College (which was from 1998-2000). I moved away after college, and when I came back a few years later, it seemed all the good stores had left Metro, so I have not been there since. Not to mention all the surrounding businesses seem to have dried up. And the streets and infrastructure over there are terrible. I agree something needs to be done about S. Jackson as a whole, I'm just not sure exactly how to fix it. :(

Author
andi
Date
2009-11-30T14:33:01-06:00
ID
153758
Comment

The only thing I can say after that one, Queen is, A M E N!

Author
justjess
Date
2009-11-30T14:33:30-06:00
ID
153759
Comment

Rex, when I was in 5th grade, a group of little black girls beat me up several times. My parents did not move, or take me out of school. My (white) teacher talked to us all, and we all later became friends. To each their own.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-11-30T14:33:45-06:00
ID
153760
Comment

that didn't really answer the question. And the teacher conference in this case didn't take like yours did, apparently.

Author
bill_jackson
Date
2009-11-30T14:41:03-06:00
ID
153761
Comment

Rex, in your case, your parents ran from the problem. To me, and I can only speak for myself, IF your parents and other white parents had stayed and made the administration address the issues with the African American girls who fought your sister, it could have set a precident and maybe not created or contributed to the pattern your parents followed. As a parent, however, I can understand doing what they felt was best for their child's safety. However, in the long run, as Donna has stated, it isn't necessarily what is best for the community OR our children. I have beat up white girls with no provocation. I have participated in gang related activity. I have done all sorts of unmentionable things just because of ignorance and my attempt to rebel against the system. I, fortunately had a principal who decided to work with my mother to show me a better way. They recognized that I needed help and was calling out for it which may not have been that different from the girls who beat up your sister. Not that it's your parents' job to help them. But when you think about it from a community state of mind...we all have to work together to raise our children, black and white; black OR white. We've gotten away from that and our children are suffering for it.

Author
Queen601
Date
2009-11-30T15:01:58-06:00
ID
153762
Comment

I don't think the racial aspect can be avoided, since the MetroCenter is largely seen as the 'black' mall in a bad neighborhood that largely caters to a young urban low income demographic, which means most of the big boxes like JC Penney, Best Buy, and Macy's won't go near it. Burlington is one of the few major retailers that routinely bucks that mentality. The other problem with dying malls like Metrocenter is the impact Wal-Mart, Target, and other big boxes have had on shopping behavior. I would bet that the Wal-Mart on Hwy 18 now draws in more customers daily than all of Metro Center even on its best day. And stores like Target and Wal-Mart, who back in the day would have been mall anchors and could save some of these dinosaurs, now rarely locate in an enclosed mall. Developers now prefer big-box centers anchored by a Wal-Mart or open-air shopping centers sprinkled with trendy fashion stores. Trying to bring back MetroCenter is a complicated problem, and if places like Charlotte and Kansas City haven't figured out a way to save their "MetroCenters" I don't know how Jackson is supposed to be any more enlightened in fixing the problem.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2009-11-30T15:02:40-06:00
ID
153764
Comment

I remember when Metrocenter and I-220 opened. I remember walking down the still unfinished interstate to get to the new mall. I grew up in West Jackson, in the Queens to be specific. Somehow my parents didn't get the white flight memo or they just didn't care if we lived next to some black people. But Jess is right, Metrocenter used to be as packed as Northpark. As a teenager I was a Mallrat and spent waaaayyyy too much time there. I saw the Rocky Horror Picture Show for the first time in the theater that backed up to Lynch Street. So Metrocenter has a special place in my heart and it breaks it to see what the Mall has become. I was there not too long ago and it's a shell on the verge of collapse, the life and substance of it has been sucked out. The Mall is just the biggest part of it though. Too many good businesses struggled and had to leave that side of town. There is a long list of them. Yea, most white folks left Jackson, and yea mostly it was racism. My neighbor told me as much when he sold his house soon after I moved in to the south Jackson neighborhood where I live now. He said he wasn't gonna stay there with "them" people moving onto the street. Indicating the black couple that lives across the street, who I never see at all unless my dog gets out. They are very private people apparently, have no children and keep their property very nice. I really couldn't ask for much better neighbors. I hope he lives next to a real jackass now, his next door neighbor does. But why does a Mall have to have white support in a predominately Black city to be successful, and maybe big Malls are on their way out anyway but business in general? Why do they need white support to not shutter their doors and move? Why are the citizens of Jackson not supporting the businesses on that side of town?

Author
WMartin
Date
2009-11-30T15:10:22-06:00
ID
153765
Comment

I actually worked at the Metro center my junior and senior hear in high school and it was thriving during that time. Still, I don't recall an abundance of white people shopping there. I'm not saying they didn't. But, Queen doesn't recall it. But it was prior to '98, Andi, that it started taking a plunge into nothingness. I mean, I started loathing going there because you couldn't even shop for kids hanging out all over the place, unsupervised. Not shopping. Just there, waiting for their parents to get off work. So we contributed to business owners getting fed up with their inventory walking out of the stores with no way to even know who took it because they couldn't control the packs of youths running in and out of the stores. Of course they hauled ass out of there. Who would want to stay and wait for their business to die? even the stores who stuck it out had to put their own security in the front of the store. If you are anything like me, I have no desire to shop in a store where the security guard is the first person you see. That tells me that I have reason to be concerned about my safety before I even walk into the store. WMartin, i agree with you and I believe that there were many years that black dollars kept the metrocenter functional. That's why I'm saying that the problem has nothing to do with white people not shopping there. The problem, as I have explained is closer to home ane more intimate than that. It's easy to say white flight is the blame, but that is simply scratching the surface of a problem that exists all over the city within the black community. So what if the white folks moved away. AND!!!! We should be able to maintain whether they are there or not. The metro has done that before. WE have got to own our own issues.

Author
Queen601
Date
2009-11-30T15:10:49-06:00
ID
153766
Comment

Rocky Horror played at the Metro theatre? Never knew that one. I saw it about 100 times at DeVille, the last 'big" screen in Jxn back then.

Author
bill_jackson
Date
2009-11-30T15:15:13-06:00
ID
153767
Comment

I agree with you Queen... even when I was at MC it was not the same mall I grew up shopping in. But it was convenient to Clinton so we still went there a good bit, and they still had some good stores back then. I do remember there being more kids running around and that sense of it not being as safe as it once was. Now I rarely do any mall shopping at all, just like you - I actually prefer either online shopping or going to smaller stores. My one big-box weakness is Target. I refuse to shop at Wal-Mart, but I can't get by without Target, and I'm ok with that.

Author
andi
Date
2009-11-30T15:18:08-06:00
ID
153768
Comment

And trust me, there were PLENTY of white kids at Metro when it opened. I went to Callaway, and 220 had just opened. We had just gotten our drivers licenses, so we'd go down there just for the arcade. Old School PlayStation, I suppose.

Author
bill_jackson
Date
2009-11-30T15:18:34-06:00
ID
153769
Comment

Rocky Horror played at the Metro theatre? Oh yea it did!! :P I saw it about 100 times there. I could tell some stories about that place and the woods next to it over there... but I won't ... not here. LOL

Author
WMartin
Date
2009-11-30T15:27:37-06:00
ID
153770
Comment

I don't do Wal-mart at all, for some reason it feels like a club or something to me. LOL I don't do target simply because I find them to be expensive. I am a very frugal shopper so family dollar and freds work just fine for your girl. If it calls for something more major than that, I'll go to Big Lots or to some side store in a plaza somewhere. Needless to say, I am not a shopper and pretty much loathe having to shop.

Author
Queen601
Date
2009-11-30T15:33:45-06:00
ID
153771
Comment

not to go off topic, but at DeVille we'd leave a 6 of tall boys by the exit door in the alley, and then retrieve it once inside : )

Author
bill_jackson
Date
2009-11-30T15:35:15-06:00
ID
153772
Comment

Anyone remember before Meadowbrook Cinema 6 when that space a Miller's dept. store? Or am I the oldest?

Author
bill_jackson
Date
2009-11-30T15:38:51-06:00
ID
153773
Comment

Congrats you are the oldest!!! LOL

Author
WMartin
Date
2009-11-30T15:42:09-06:00
ID
153774
Comment

Oops I didnt think the first one took.

Author
WMartin
Date
2009-11-30T15:43:01-06:00
ID
153775
Comment

Ditto to WMartin. Rex, you get the award for most experienced. :-)

Author
Queen601
Date
2009-11-30T15:51:22-06:00
ID
153777
Comment

Queen, we used to crowd into Widow Watson's in the Metrocenter after State games at Memorial Stadium -- back when State and Ole Miss played a lot of "home" games here. (I was at State 79-83). And then, the Metrocenter was certainly not a "black" mall.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-11-30T16:47:08-06:00
ID
153780
Comment

Ah haaaa! Well well well. Learn something new every day! :-) I knew it hadn't always been, but for ME, it had. In 79, I was five. ;-)

Author
Queen601
Date
2009-11-30T17:19:30-06:00
ID
153783
Comment

Thanks for reminding me, Queen. ;-) I forgive you, though. I'm not age-phobic.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-11-30T17:46:53-06:00
ID
153785
Comment

It seems like this conversation is moving at cross purposes. On the one hand, we talk about shopping in locally owned business, and on the other, we're talking about revitalization of Metrocenter. I don't think the two are mutually beneficial or sustainable. Malls are much more expensive for retailers, which is why with few exceptions, only big box and big chain stores can afford to have a presence in them. While you see everything from J.C. Penney to Chico's, local stores can't afford the high mall overhead. So you're kind of stuck with national chains at a mall. (As an aside, they're also usually owned by conglomerates, and are more resource intensive and injurious to the environment, too, with huge tracts of black-top parking lots and 50-foot ceilings to heat and cool. Even national retailers are figuring this out, moving to outdoor malls like Dogwood and Renaissance. Even if the outdoor centers are still full of "foreign" stores, at least they're a little more environmentally friendly.) When it comes to shopping centers, people are going to go where the stores are located that they like until they can't afford to go there any more. There's only so many high-end large national chains stores that this area will support, which means if you love Chico's and it moves from Metrocenter and Northpark to Renaissance or Dogwood, you'll be shopping at Renaissance or Dogwood, whichever is closest. Nothing in this area is so far from anything else that people will sacrifice their favorites over an extra 15 minutes on the road, yet. I'm not disagreeing with the whole white-flight argument as to why South Jackson stores aren't thriving, but when a community stops shopping at a mall, it's about the stores. Metrocenter has long targeted sales to a lower-income demographic than centers in other areas of the metro. It seems they've shot themselves in the foot with their own strategy. From a "shop/buy local" perspective, malls are anathema to the entire concept. Better we make lists of what we need and actually go to one or several local stores to buy those items than to go "shopping at the mall" as if it's a viable social activity. Trust me when I say that "shopping" as an activity isn't sustainable by most Americans any more, if it ever was. It's just a thought, but surely there are alternatives to revitalizing South Jackson other than making Metrocenter a destination after decades of decline.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-11-30T18:09:09-06:00
ID
153789
Comment

Malls are dead, but it isn't just malls; as soon as low-income and working-class Americans start buying stuff online en masse, Wal-Mart's days will be numbered, too. The whole way we handle retail, right now, is unsustainable; online sales are a better consumer experience in almost every way, and this means that they will take over and bankrupt most traditional retailers in the long run. We need to figure out a way to get money from online sales back into local communities—and shaming people into burning gas so they can sort through smaller selections at local vendors and pay higher prices for them isn't going to work. We need an online sales tax with local revenue distribution based on buyer location. "I need it right now" and "I have to touch it first" just aren't going to be enough to sustain large-scale traditional retail in areas other than food/drink, art, jewelry, some clothing, some furniture, antique books, etc., and that means an end to big-box stores. Local retail businesses will mostly be grocery stores, boutiques, and consignment shops after another 15-20 years, IMHO—the same kinds of stores that tend to be locally-owned right now. I believe there will still be a McDade's chain in Jackson when the last Jackson/metro area Wal-Mart shuts down. And the Metrocenter? It can survive, but not in its traditional form. It's going to need to be something other than what we ordinarily think of as a mall.

Author
Tom Head
Date
2009-12-01T05:10:38-06:00
ID
153793
Comment

D-Ladd, had you not told me, I would have never been able to guess when you went to college. :-) You got it like that!

Author
Queen601
Date
2009-12-01T09:30:25-06:00
ID
153796
Comment

-comment deleted- carry on...

Author
Queen601
Date
2009-12-01T09:35:14-06:00
ID
153799
Comment

I was at Metro yesterday. I am now back working in south Jackson and you have NO IDEA how mad I was that Belk wasn't there! I must have missed that in the "news" during that whole pregnant-having-a-baby thing. I've actually been to Metro three times in the past week (Burlington and a jewelry store). In 2000 when I worked in Clinton the Metro GAP was my "secret store". No one shopped there and since GAP inventory turns over every single six weeks and they put everything on sale, I used to be able to get all new GAP stuff when they put it on $2.99 sale and they would actually have a SELECTION!! The Victoria's Secret there actually priced their bras $4.00 lower than Northpark. I checked. I have no idea if that was a "marketing" thing but I used to only buy from that VS. The GAP went away in 2001-2002 and I was SO UPSET. When I worked down here several years ago I used to regularly shop at the Belk there for my makeup and shoes. They always have good sales with good selections (for sad reasons-I'm guessing). Anyway, I heart Metro. I even get my glasses and stuff from the eye place in there. It is always woefully empty every single time I am there.

Author
Lori G
Date
2009-12-01T09:58:50-06:00
ID
153803
Comment

Baquan, if you're talking outlet mall, you're still talking about big national/international chains. There's nothing "local" about outlet malls, either, which is the focus of the editorial. How about we raze the damn thing and convert it to public green space? How about we make it into a local business incubator instead of relying on big box and big chains? How about we do anything with the space except more retail. The metro area is saturated with national retail, which is why you see the cannibalization from one big shopping center/mall to another. We don't need "more"; we need relevant.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-12-01T10:47:14-06:00
ID
153808
Comment

Why should we turn what could be a thriving collection of businesses/opportunities and turn it into green space??????????? The people in south and west Jackson, although not the richest or whitest, should be provided with a collection of stores to shop at without having to travel outside of Jackson. I especially find the idea of turning the mall into green space a slap in the face.....are you kidding me?

Author
Queen601
Date
2009-12-01T11:01:42-06:00
ID
153814
Comment

D-Ladd, had you not told me, I would have never been able to guess when you went to college. :-) You got it like that! Thanks, Queen. I like to own my age and don't believe in hiding it (not very Zen). But I sure don't mind when it surprises folks. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-12-01T11:54:58-06:00
ID
153816
Comment

I feel the same way.

Author
Queen601
Date
2009-12-01T12:04:40-06:00
ID
153824
Comment

Queen, I'm just throwing out suggestions. Like I said previously, this thread is about shopping/buying local. Malls don't fit that paradigm in any way, shape or form, nor are malls environmentally sustainable. I'm not saying remove all shopping from South and West Jackson--that would be silly. At the same time, I think we can probably do a lot better than reviving a mall that isn't providing the services the community is willing to pay for, as evidenced by the empty spaces and the lack of customers.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-12-01T14:26:49-06:00
ID
153828
Comment

..,."But why does a Mall have to have white support in a predominately Black city to be successful, and maybe big Malls are on their way out anyway but business in general? Why do they need white support to not shutter their doors and move? Why are the citizens of Jackson not supporting the businesses on that side of town?"... Short answer: because the 77% AA population of this city only encompasses about 10% of the wealth. Businesses runto where the money is. right now the "money" is NOT in West or South Jxn. we must begin a serious discussion on how to create generational wealth or financial stability in our Black communities here. Until that happens our dollars will NEVER be taken seriously and we will NEVER be catered to as consumers. As my Queen says when we realize the POWER in our DOLLARS things will change. Black folks think a kind word and a flyer will help to keep local, small Black businesses open. But until kind words and intentions are accepted as currency...its $$$$$ that will keep these places open. You. must. spend. money. period. Until our kids are made to practice the same decorum they must at Malco. Paying customers will continue to get run off. Parents dropped kids off at the Metro like it was park w/ food Court money and they terrorize the mall for 5 hrs and DONT PURCHASE ANYTHING. Then they offend the adults who have come in to SPEND money and run them off. PRetty soon they wont come back...they DIDNT come back. thats the short take.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2009-12-01T14:53:19-06:00
ID
153829
Comment

Malls don't fit that paradigm in any way, shape or form, nor are malls environmentally sustainable. Ronni, in this case, I disagree. For one, there are some locally owned businesses in malls. Second, Metrocenter is an important anchor to a part of town that has been victimized by flight white. And Kaze, great comment.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-12-01T15:29:04-06:00
ID
153831
Comment

Well, as with most discussions here on this site and any place else Ronni, topics evolve. All conversations worth having take twists and turns in order to come to a resolution. I've actually enjoyed the conversation. Everyone knows to buy local. There are ads all over JFP to buy local and support local businesses. Ladd said it right there were a good number of locally run businesses in the metro center and many were there fairly recently. But how can they function if there are no customers. The answer isn't to just close down the anchor (very good word donna) and put up some trees or anything else. The answer is the same as it is in every other area of the city that has died. The answer is to do the same as what is done to the King Edward and other downtown businesses. The answer is to follow in the footsteps of those who revitalized Fondren. STOP COMPLAINING ABOUT WHAT IS WRONG AND FIX IT. Give back. SUPPORT. Spend money and give a damn. The metrocenter is more than just a place to shop for many of us. It's historical just like other Ms. Peaches restuarant. Why on earth would it be more beneficial as a green space? If the community couldn't/wouldn't take care of a concrete building, what on earth makes you think it would see after a green space?

Author
Queen601
Date
2009-12-01T15:29:59-06:00
ID
153832
Comment

Dang... Kamikaze and I agree on one thing? Hell must be about to freeze over. Of course, I've hated the hooligans that have hung out at Metro for, oh, 20+ years or so :)

Author
Ironghost
Date
2009-12-01T15:38:48-06:00
ID
153833
Comment

UH....Ironghost, you consistantly take things way too far. What do you call the abundance of white kids hanging out in the Kroger parking lot breaking glass over each other's heads for fun??? You know what never mind...that would cause for a shift from the topic. So don't even bother.

Author
Queen601
Date
2009-12-01T15:50:32-06:00
ID
153835
Comment

I was one of those Metrocenter hooligans for a time. So it's not a racial thing Queen. :p

Author
WMartin
Date
2009-12-01T16:01:58-06:00
ID
153836
Comment

Okay....my defenses were up. Apologies.

Author
Queen601
Date
2009-12-01T16:04:28-06:00
ID
153843
Comment

[quote]What do you call the abundance of white kids hanging out in the Kroger parking lot breaking glass over each other's heads for fun??? [/quote] Darwin Award Nominees. Seriously.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2009-12-01T21:18:28-06:00
ID
153844
Comment

Queen, my apologies for offending you. It wasn't my intention. Guess I should have come up with some better suggestions instead of simply typing the first things that came to mind. I guess I'm a bit frustrated with the whole conversation about Metrocenter. I've been hearing the same complaints since I moved here 13 years ago. I don't have a dog in the hunt, with no historical ties to the place. Frankly, I try to avoid malls as much as humanly possible. Now that the issue is done for today, I had a chance to do a little research into malls. Metrocenter is far from alone. Newsweek did a piece about a year ago titled "Is the Mall Dead?", which says about 20 percent of all malls are now defunct, coast-to-coast. While it's marginally interesting, the piece mentions a book that might actually be useful: "Retrofitting Suburbia." There's also a Web site—deadmalls.com—that has lots of good info (read about the Medical Mall, for example) and links. Jackson has some unique challenges for revitalizing the city, but we're not alone out here. It's interesting to see what other cities are up to.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-12-01T21:30:36-06:00
ID
153847
Comment

I've read those very same articles, Ronni. Researching now defunct shopping centers and dying malls, and various attempts to save them has been a hobby of mine in the last couple of years. And the Jackson Medical Mall is huge achievement in this regard, thanks to the vision of Dr. Aaron Shirley.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2009-12-02T08:27:26-06:00
ID
153849
Comment

I'm not saying there's not more that we can do to improve, but I think the main thing that's killing the Metro is that we're the capital city of a predominantly rural state with the nation's highest poverty rate, we've been dealing with white flight that has drained incredible amounts of money from all over the city but most abruptly from south Jackson, and on top of that, the Metrocenter is designed for a 1985 economy. We can save the Metro, but I don't think we can save it without changing it. Something mixed-use is probably best, something like Fondren Corner, or something that's a mix between Fondren Corner and the Medical Mall.

Author
Tom Head
Date
2009-12-02T08:55:41-06:00
ID
153851
Comment

I appreciate all the ideas here on how to "cure the Metrocenter". I'm facinated at all the ideas from people who haven't even shopped there. Anyhoo, as I suggested wayyyyyy back up this thread, in my opinion, the Metro can survive on black dollars alone. I'm sick to death of the idea that businesses will meet their demise if white people aren't involved in some way. Although I do understand that this is how things have worked up to this point and not just in Jackson but everywhere. I think more focus needs to be on those who are intended to be served. You can't place a mall that caters to white folk in the middle of the inner city. Who, living there, will even be able to afford to go in the mall and black people and white people DO NOT shop alike or wear the same items. In a general sense sure we do; but for the most part we are not shaped the same so we aren't going to buy the same clothes. I mean, you can't throw Orange Peel in the Metro and expect black people to shop there. The target marget will have to be directed to those who live close. Some less expensive shops will have to come there. So, the African American community has to be catered to a bit. I'm not sure that has EVER been done there or anywhere else in the city. It has to be as I stated earlier, and Tom just stated, CHANGED. Covenience will mean a lot to people in west and south Jackson. I'm willing to bet that it would mean more to them to have a close mall to shop at that has some stores they are interested in shopping at AND CAN AFFORD, than a place that looks pretty. Anyway...I think I've said all I can about this topic. Let me shop around the site for something else to chime in on.

Author
Queen601
Date
2009-12-02T09:24:52-06:00
ID
153854
Comment

We have a Metrocenter post here with over a thousand posts, Baquan. And Queen: I agree. The way to "cure" Metrocenter is to shop there. When I need a mall, which is once in a blue mall, I always go there. Of course, it's harder without Belk now. Maybe the bike movement will have a bike ride to Metrocenter. Hopefully, those guys will make an effort to include the enter city and get people into neighborhoods they haven't visited in a while.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-12-02T09:55:08-06:00
ID
153857
Comment

I must admit that it would be a scary thought to try and rest assuredly that black people would support the mall enough to keep it functional. But I was speaking in a general sense. It "could" be done as it has been done in many other cities; the ones you mentioned and even in Atlanta. True those cities are larger than our fair Jackson is, but the idea still remains the same. I don't consider myself to be middle class, by far, but I'd have the same concerns as the next person - black and white. Crime. Security. A pleasant surrounding. I'd like for the mall to look as appealing as Northpark but like I said, we need a presence from law enforcement. We need to build a sense of pride in community. It's going to take some grabbing of the balls to be honest. Just like what David Watkins and partners had to do to King Edward. JUST DO IT. All the naysayers are being brought to the forefront now. Those who didn't believe it could be done are excited to get into the King Edward. I have no reason to doubt that it wouldn't be the same way with the Metro Center Mall. And Donna, I don't shop at malls either, but I would if I felt safe and could afford the stores there. I typically don't like crowds. When I shop I like to be able to get in, get what I want and get out without the hassle (hense my avoidance of Wal-mart). But I'd support the mall just because it's in Jackson. Of course we have work to do to get the majority of Jacksonians to feel that same way.

Author
Queen601
Date
2009-12-02T10:22:24-06:00
ID
153865
Comment

I agree with you that a) the city council clearly has no idea what the hell they are doing; they are a group of men - and Margaret- who sit a desk and have a meeting on Tuesdays that take forever and nothing is accomplished. It's a hot mess. But guess what, Jacksonians placed them there. So they are not the problem ultimately, WE ARE. b)The city council would be a great place to start with corrective action - IF, we had forward thinkers on the council instead of time buyers who should be home sipping on hot totties.

Author
Queen601
Date
2009-12-02T11:32:28-06:00

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