Lesson for Sunland-Tujunga Home Depot Opponents: Innovate and Thrive
My answer is I have no beef with the people in Sunland-Tujunga. I just believe a private business owner has the right to operate without government interference. I also have a big issue with self-appointed NIMBYs especially when those NIMBYs are allegedly bought and paid for by the one of the competitors of Home Depot.
Incidentally the hypocritical mouth-waggers of the No2HomeDepot campaign attempt to suggest that both Mayor Villaraigosa and this old, dead Republican mayor are being paid off by Home Depot. I can't speak for Antonio, but I have not received a dime from Home Depot. However they find no fault allegedly accepting contributions from the Do It Center Hardware Store and are quite brazen about it.
Click here for a list of the Sunland-Tujunga hardware related businesses that are opposing Home Depot surely for their own profit.
But anyway, I digress. One of the arguments against the opening of the Home Depot store in Sunland-Tujunga is the following:
The proposed Home Depot, with its' predatory pricing, will drive many of our Mom & Pop Hardware and In Home Services stores out of business.However at least one hardware store not too far from Sunland-Tujunga and in close proximity to another Home Depot location has found that it can not just co-exist with the big box retailer but thrive as well.
The LA Times reports today that 101 year old Virgil's Glendale Hardware has managed to prosper despite the presence of Home Depot.
Indeed Virgil's at first had trouble when Home Depot came to town. However new ownership took control of the store and begin to make significant changes. The product mix was changed, hard to find items not available at Home Depot were added and customer service was enhanced. To top it off, the store got a makeover to make it more appealing to female customers who know make up over half the customers. Profits have never been better and the owners have considered opening additional stores.
If the stores in Sunland-Tujunga are afraid that Home Depot will chew into their sales, its on them to improve their service and offerings. Its not up to the local government to protect them from the free market.