Well over a hundred local Yachats area residents filled the big room at the Yachats Commons Monday to tell national discount chain Dollar General they don’t want them to tear down the old 76 gas station and replace it with a cross between a regular dollar store and a Walmart.
For well over two hours residents when through pretty much the same list of objections to the store setting up shop in Yachats:
* It’s a national chain that would pull profits out of Yachats, as they do from over 12,000 other communities, back to their huge national headquarters in Tennessee – which would be a net drain on the local Yachats economy.
* Yachats already has a good variety of stores and if they need something special, it’s within a short drive.
* Mom and pop stores – the backbone of the business community – would be descimated.
* The typical Dollar General store’s architecture would stand out like a sore thumb against the quaint and human scale buildings and homes in the Yachats area.
* Many residents promised they would boycott the store and encourage their families and neighbors to boycott it too.
There was a series article in the Huffington Post earlier this year about Dollar General that made some of the above complaints seem tame by comparison. Even Ralph Nader has joined in strong criticism of Dollar General labor conditions! Click here.
These and other complaints ran the gamut of what other communities have complained about with Dollar General. There were a few comments that said basically that depending on how wide a grocery selection they’d offer, Dollar General would likely push down prices at already existing local stores. But they added that most local stores have a thin profit margin as it is, so Dollar General could be the death knell for some of them.
The representative of Dollar General turned out to be just a contractor that builds the stores and was in town to gather thoughts and observations from local residents of Yachats to see how well they might be received in Yachats. He said the company has already gone through the fee process at city hall but that they haven’t closed escrow yet on the property.
The contractor said all comments would be delivered to corporate executives back in Goodlettsville, Tennessee for their review.
Dollar General is in the process of applying for a building permit to build a similar store in Waldport – at the corner of Cedar and Hemlock (Hwy 34). That site has a building where a computer repair shop once did business and a flower and gift shop is still operating in the building. There has also been talk of a Dollar General store going into Florence.
Whether what was said today will have any effect on Dollar General’s plans for Yachats remains to be seen. It was reported to the crowd at the Commons that the company has already invested a substantial amount of money in moving the project forward – but, again, they haven’t closed escrow on the property yet.