The Effect of Target is Complex but Insidious

Honestly, I thought I was having déjà vu reading Dunning’s column this morning. “Shopping habits, not Target, are what drives stores away.” It was remarkably similar to last Sunday’s column, “Davis’ downtown won’t change with a Target on its back.”

Dunning makes the classic laissez faire argument:

“The true power in these struggles rests not with the mega-retailer but with those consumers on whom the mega-retailer depends for its very survival.”

People will indeed vote with their feet. Unfortunately, Target has the capacity to force people to walk a lot further.

Now one problem I have with Dunning’s argument is that like last week, he cites businesses that do not have overlap between Target’s merchandise and their service and products.

He argues that he will continue to frequent various businesses that reside in the downtown. Now I understand that *he* probably will. The question though that is unanswered is will Target begin to eat away at the sales of stores that do have common merchandise. And if Target does drive those businesses away will places that Dunning does cite, like the downtown restaurants be harmed?

There are two types of customers. One type who comes to a given business for a specific reason. Bob gets hungry and wants Nepalese food and so he goes to Kathmandu. That type of business probably is not going to suffer.

But observe this type of business… I go down to Bogey’s books to get some used books and I get hungry. There is Chipotle’s right next door and the Pita place a couple of doors down. So I buy my books and then get my meal. That’s incidental or walk-up business. I’m in the vicinity for other reasons but happen to get hungry and incidentally frequent an adjacent eating establishment.

But what happens when Bogey’s closes? Now I am not in the vicinity, I get hungry and I go to my kitchen instead of a restaurant, since I have now order my used books at Amazon rather than Bogey’s.

How much of business is intentional versus incidental? Has there been a study on this? If not, then Bob Dunning has no way of knowing whether these businesses will or will not be hurt. But in general, I think it is safe to speculate that more people at Target means less people downtown which means less opportunity for walk-up business. And this means while Bob may still go to his favorite restaurant, Doug may stay at home and eat his food from the fridge.

Dunning writes: “To survive, Target will have to offer something the downtown merchants don’t, yet time and again I hear from my friends downtown that their stores are superior in every way to Target. Again, downtown wins, Target loses.”

I’m sure this is a bit of a hyperbole by Dunning, but once again, he fails to grasp the central points. And dare I say, he fails to really do adequate research about what big box stores do in order to command their market share.

Target will as Bob perhaps sardonically suggests, offer worse customer service (probably poor based on my experiences in large stores), they will not know their customers’ name, they probably will help the customer find the items they wish to purchase, but they probably won’t be able to help them make a decision about these items or possess any kind of knowledge.

However, there is one advantage that Target has over small businesses–and it is in the end decisive–the ability to sell a large quantity of products for low prices.

There has been considerable research done on the effects and tactics of big box retailers such as Target. And there is a pattern.

First, they come in with very low prices. Not only can they buy in bulk which reduces the per-unit-cost of each product. But more importantly, they can afford to turn a lower per-unit-profit on each item in the interim. They do this to undercut local competitors who cannot take a temporary hit and cannot compete with the lower prices.

Okay, this is a good thing you say. Bob is high-fiving Jay Ziegler as he reads this. Like anything, there is a catch. Research suggests that big boxes offer very low prices initially, but then as they gain market share, those prices then begin to go up. This can’t be, Bob exclaims. Moreover, some of those lower prices are just on certain, highly identifiable items, known as “signposts” that most consumers know the price of. However, those items may account for only five percent of the items in the store.

There have been arguments disputing the degree to which Target will actually take away business from people who shop at downtown stores who do sell similar merchandise. It is noteworthy that most of those stores signed the letter to the Davis Enterprise opposing Measure K. These are not the normal “CAVE”-dwellers as Dunning likes to call many progressives. It may be paranoia and it may be uncertainty. Or perhaps, the retailers themselves may actually suspect that they will lose money as the result of Target entering fully into the Davis market.

We just don’t know, it’s not like this has ever happened in other communities and we can judge it on the basis of history. Oh wait. It has and we can. And oh yeah, downtown and local businesses lose.

Again we must ask key questions that our leader has not: how much loss of revenue can a small business sustain? If they lose only 10% of their revenue would that wipe them out? What if they lose more?

A reasonable assessment of the situation suggests that even a small loss in profits may make downtown businesses not profitable enough for the owners to remain in business.

The combination of loss of sales based on direct competition and the lose of sales based on loss of walk-in business could put a number of our downtown businesses at serious risk.

Once Target enters the city of Davis, it will become powerful–very powerful as it takes up larger and larger percentages of the tax revenue that the city relies on.

The recent events of Fairfield indicate that once a business comes into town, they hold a huge upperhand. In Fairfield, as we reported yesterday, the City Council passed an ordinance in August to limit the size of retail stores. Wal-Mart made the announcement that they were closing their business at one location threatening the city with around a $400,000 per year loss of tax revenue. Wal-Mart then asked the city to approve a much larger Wal-Mart at a new location. The council facing the loss of a substantial tax base, ended up approving it.

The suggestion all along from the Davis City Council is that we as a communtiy are in control. What the city of Fairfield example shows is that we are not in control. The mega-corporation once established wields the influence of (nearly) half a million dollar in tax revenue. So Target can build their store at the Second Street Crossing and then decide that they need a larger location. A future city council has to hear the request and what happens if Target says, we’re leaving and closing the location and we’ll either move to another location where we can build a superstore or you can lose your tax base. What does the new city council do then? What do you think?

Tell us Souza and Saylor, who is in control? Because I know one thing with great certainty, it is not us and once Target is built, it will not be you.

—Doug Paul Davis reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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36 Comments

  1. Rich Rifkin

    Doug,

    It will come as no surprise to you to know that I completely disagree with your entire economic analysis.

    However, rather than debating you over it — I’ve fully expressed myself on this question in the past — I would like to make two friendly wagers with you, say for 25 cents each.

    The first wager proposal is based on this comment of yours:

    “But what happens when Bogey’s closes?

    But in general, I think it is safe to speculate that more people at Target means less people downtown which means less opportunity for walk-up business.

    Bet No. 1: If Bogey’s closes in 2007, I am willing to wager that one year from now, there will be a new business in that site. (You are too new to Davis, I believe, to remember the business that was in that site for decades, J. Tingus Men’s Wear. The Tingus family played a big role in Davis for many years.)

    You seem to assume that if one business, or one type of business leaves, another won’t come along. I think just the opposite.

    Davis retail businesses come and go. They have all my life, and that will always be the case. Even if Target is a cause for the closure of some downtown retailers, new businesses will always fill their locales.

    The second wager is based on this comment from you:

    First, they come in with very low prices…

    Research suggests that big boxes offer very low prices initially, but then as they gain market share, those prices then begin to go up.

    Here’s my proposition: you and I pick out 10 specific items sold at the Davis Target. I am willing to bet that 2 years after the opening of Target, those 10 items (combined) will be sold for the same or a lower price (in inflation adjusted dollars).

    If your “theory” (which is complete hogwash in my opinion) were true, the cost of those 10 items should be higher 2 years down the road. If the prices are the same or lower, I win the bet.

    Are you willing to back up your words with your money, Doug? I suspect you can afford to lose 50 cents.

  2. Rich Rifkin

    Doug,

    It will come as no surprise to you to know that I completely disagree with your entire economic analysis.

    However, rather than debating you over it — I’ve fully expressed myself on this question in the past — I would like to make two friendly wagers with you, say for 25 cents each.

    The first wager proposal is based on this comment of yours:

    “But what happens when Bogey’s closes?

    But in general, I think it is safe to speculate that more people at Target means less people downtown which means less opportunity for walk-up business.

    Bet No. 1: If Bogey’s closes in 2007, I am willing to wager that one year from now, there will be a new business in that site. (You are too new to Davis, I believe, to remember the business that was in that site for decades, J. Tingus Men’s Wear. The Tingus family played a big role in Davis for many years.)

    You seem to assume that if one business, or one type of business leaves, another won’t come along. I think just the opposite.

    Davis retail businesses come and go. They have all my life, and that will always be the case. Even if Target is a cause for the closure of some downtown retailers, new businesses will always fill their locales.

    The second wager is based on this comment from you:

    First, they come in with very low prices…

    Research suggests that big boxes offer very low prices initially, but then as they gain market share, those prices then begin to go up.

    Here’s my proposition: you and I pick out 10 specific items sold at the Davis Target. I am willing to bet that 2 years after the opening of Target, those 10 items (combined) will be sold for the same or a lower price (in inflation adjusted dollars).

    If your “theory” (which is complete hogwash in my opinion) were true, the cost of those 10 items should be higher 2 years down the road. If the prices are the same or lower, I win the bet.

    Are you willing to back up your words with your money, Doug? I suspect you can afford to lose 50 cents.

  3. Rich Rifkin

    Doug,

    It will come as no surprise to you to know that I completely disagree with your entire economic analysis.

    However, rather than debating you over it — I’ve fully expressed myself on this question in the past — I would like to make two friendly wagers with you, say for 25 cents each.

    The first wager proposal is based on this comment of yours:

    “But what happens when Bogey’s closes?

    But in general, I think it is safe to speculate that more people at Target means less people downtown which means less opportunity for walk-up business.

    Bet No. 1: If Bogey’s closes in 2007, I am willing to wager that one year from now, there will be a new business in that site. (You are too new to Davis, I believe, to remember the business that was in that site for decades, J. Tingus Men’s Wear. The Tingus family played a big role in Davis for many years.)

    You seem to assume that if one business, or one type of business leaves, another won’t come along. I think just the opposite.

    Davis retail businesses come and go. They have all my life, and that will always be the case. Even if Target is a cause for the closure of some downtown retailers, new businesses will always fill their locales.

    The second wager is based on this comment from you:

    First, they come in with very low prices…

    Research suggests that big boxes offer very low prices initially, but then as they gain market share, those prices then begin to go up.

    Here’s my proposition: you and I pick out 10 specific items sold at the Davis Target. I am willing to bet that 2 years after the opening of Target, those 10 items (combined) will be sold for the same or a lower price (in inflation adjusted dollars).

    If your “theory” (which is complete hogwash in my opinion) were true, the cost of those 10 items should be higher 2 years down the road. If the prices are the same or lower, I win the bet.

    Are you willing to back up your words with your money, Doug? I suspect you can afford to lose 50 cents.

  4. Rich Rifkin

    Doug,

    It will come as no surprise to you to know that I completely disagree with your entire economic analysis.

    However, rather than debating you over it — I’ve fully expressed myself on this question in the past — I would like to make two friendly wagers with you, say for 25 cents each.

    The first wager proposal is based on this comment of yours:

    “But what happens when Bogey’s closes?

    But in general, I think it is safe to speculate that more people at Target means less people downtown which means less opportunity for walk-up business.

    Bet No. 1: If Bogey’s closes in 2007, I am willing to wager that one year from now, there will be a new business in that site. (You are too new to Davis, I believe, to remember the business that was in that site for decades, J. Tingus Men’s Wear. The Tingus family played a big role in Davis for many years.)

    You seem to assume that if one business, or one type of business leaves, another won’t come along. I think just the opposite.

    Davis retail businesses come and go. They have all my life, and that will always be the case. Even if Target is a cause for the closure of some downtown retailers, new businesses will always fill their locales.

    The second wager is based on this comment from you:

    First, they come in with very low prices…

    Research suggests that big boxes offer very low prices initially, but then as they gain market share, those prices then begin to go up.

    Here’s my proposition: you and I pick out 10 specific items sold at the Davis Target. I am willing to bet that 2 years after the opening of Target, those 10 items (combined) will be sold for the same or a lower price (in inflation adjusted dollars).

    If your “theory” (which is complete hogwash in my opinion) were true, the cost of those 10 items should be higher 2 years down the road. If the prices are the same or lower, I win the bet.

    Are you willing to back up your words with your money, Doug? I suspect you can afford to lose 50 cents.

  5. Doug Paul Davis

    Rich:

    “You seem to assume that if one business, or one type of business leaves, another won’t come along. I think just the opposite.”

    That wasn’t really the point of what I was trying to argue. I was using that situation as an example to explain walk-up sales.

    “You are too new to Davis, I believe, to remember the business that was in that site for decades, J. Tingus Men’s Wear. The Tingus family played a big role in Davis for many years.”

    Yep, I only remember Bogey’s there.

    The larger point I was trying to make is that, say instead of going downtown to do my shopping, I go to Target, then I’m not going to eat downtown and other businesses will be affected.

    My assumption was not if Bogey’s closes, there will not be another business there. I agree that there will likely will be.

    I will take the second bet.

    “Here’s my proposition: you and I pick out 10 specific items sold at the Davis Target. I am willing to bet that 2 years after the opening of Target, those 10 items (combined) will be sold for the same or a lower price (in inflation adjusted dollars).

    If your “theory” (which is complete hogwash in my opinion) were true, the cost of those 10 items should be higher 2 years down the road. If the prices are the same or lower, I win the bet.”

    Although the key length is five not two, I’ll take it at two. By the time Target it opens I assume will be no sooner than 2008, hard to know if I’ll still live here in 2010. But I’ll make the bet.

  6. Doug Paul Davis

    Rich:

    “You seem to assume that if one business, or one type of business leaves, another won’t come along. I think just the opposite.”

    That wasn’t really the point of what I was trying to argue. I was using that situation as an example to explain walk-up sales.

    “You are too new to Davis, I believe, to remember the business that was in that site for decades, J. Tingus Men’s Wear. The Tingus family played a big role in Davis for many years.”

    Yep, I only remember Bogey’s there.

    The larger point I was trying to make is that, say instead of going downtown to do my shopping, I go to Target, then I’m not going to eat downtown and other businesses will be affected.

    My assumption was not if Bogey’s closes, there will not be another business there. I agree that there will likely will be.

    I will take the second bet.

    “Here’s my proposition: you and I pick out 10 specific items sold at the Davis Target. I am willing to bet that 2 years after the opening of Target, those 10 items (combined) will be sold for the same or a lower price (in inflation adjusted dollars).

    If your “theory” (which is complete hogwash in my opinion) were true, the cost of those 10 items should be higher 2 years down the road. If the prices are the same or lower, I win the bet.”

    Although the key length is five not two, I’ll take it at two. By the time Target it opens I assume will be no sooner than 2008, hard to know if I’ll still live here in 2010. But I’ll make the bet.

  7. Doug Paul Davis

    Rich:

    “You seem to assume that if one business, or one type of business leaves, another won’t come along. I think just the opposite.”

    That wasn’t really the point of what I was trying to argue. I was using that situation as an example to explain walk-up sales.

    “You are too new to Davis, I believe, to remember the business that was in that site for decades, J. Tingus Men’s Wear. The Tingus family played a big role in Davis for many years.”

    Yep, I only remember Bogey’s there.

    The larger point I was trying to make is that, say instead of going downtown to do my shopping, I go to Target, then I’m not going to eat downtown and other businesses will be affected.

    My assumption was not if Bogey’s closes, there will not be another business there. I agree that there will likely will be.

    I will take the second bet.

    “Here’s my proposition: you and I pick out 10 specific items sold at the Davis Target. I am willing to bet that 2 years after the opening of Target, those 10 items (combined) will be sold for the same or a lower price (in inflation adjusted dollars).

    If your “theory” (which is complete hogwash in my opinion) were true, the cost of those 10 items should be higher 2 years down the road. If the prices are the same or lower, I win the bet.”

    Although the key length is five not two, I’ll take it at two. By the time Target it opens I assume will be no sooner than 2008, hard to know if I’ll still live here in 2010. But I’ll make the bet.

  8. Doug Paul Davis

    Rich:

    “You seem to assume that if one business, or one type of business leaves, another won’t come along. I think just the opposite.”

    That wasn’t really the point of what I was trying to argue. I was using that situation as an example to explain walk-up sales.

    “You are too new to Davis, I believe, to remember the business that was in that site for decades, J. Tingus Men’s Wear. The Tingus family played a big role in Davis for many years.”

    Yep, I only remember Bogey’s there.

    The larger point I was trying to make is that, say instead of going downtown to do my shopping, I go to Target, then I’m not going to eat downtown and other businesses will be affected.

    My assumption was not if Bogey’s closes, there will not be another business there. I agree that there will likely will be.

    I will take the second bet.

    “Here’s my proposition: you and I pick out 10 specific items sold at the Davis Target. I am willing to bet that 2 years after the opening of Target, those 10 items (combined) will be sold for the same or a lower price (in inflation adjusted dollars).

    If your “theory” (which is complete hogwash in my opinion) were true, the cost of those 10 items should be higher 2 years down the road. If the prices are the same or lower, I win the bet.”

    Although the key length is five not two, I’ll take it at two. By the time Target it opens I assume will be no sooner than 2008, hard to know if I’ll still live here in 2010. But I’ll make the bet.

  9. Doug Paul Davis

    Of course we don’t need to wait that amount of time. If the theory is that stores raise their prices over time, then all we need to do is compare the prices at the new Target store in Davis to existing Target stores. I suggest maybe five sampled locations and compare them to Davis when it opens.

  10. Doug Paul Davis

    Of course we don’t need to wait that amount of time. If the theory is that stores raise their prices over time, then all we need to do is compare the prices at the new Target store in Davis to existing Target stores. I suggest maybe five sampled locations and compare them to Davis when it opens.

  11. Doug Paul Davis

    Of course we don’t need to wait that amount of time. If the theory is that stores raise their prices over time, then all we need to do is compare the prices at the new Target store in Davis to existing Target stores. I suggest maybe five sampled locations and compare them to Davis when it opens.

  12. Doug Paul Davis

    Of course we don’t need to wait that amount of time. If the theory is that stores raise their prices over time, then all we need to do is compare the prices at the new Target store in Davis to existing Target stores. I suggest maybe five sampled locations and compare them to Davis when it opens.

  13. Rich Rifkin

    I suggest maybe five sampled locations and compare them to Davis when it opens.

    That’s fine, as long as the items chosen are not “Grand Opening Specials.” I assume they would be the same price at the Davis Target as they would be at, say, the Target on Broadway in Sacramento or any other Target in the region.

    Nevertheless, this is really a different bet than I was suggesting. Your prior wording implied that you think the Davis Target will try to capture market share by offering very low prices in Davis, and then raising their prices once they have some sort of monopoly power. (That is illegal, by the way.) Target does not operate that way. Neither does WalMart. And if any company could get away with that strategy in the marketplace, it would be WalMart, because WalMart has such a large share of total retail in the United States.

  14. Rich Rifkin

    I suggest maybe five sampled locations and compare them to Davis when it opens.

    That’s fine, as long as the items chosen are not “Grand Opening Specials.” I assume they would be the same price at the Davis Target as they would be at, say, the Target on Broadway in Sacramento or any other Target in the region.

    Nevertheless, this is really a different bet than I was suggesting. Your prior wording implied that you think the Davis Target will try to capture market share by offering very low prices in Davis, and then raising their prices once they have some sort of monopoly power. (That is illegal, by the way.) Target does not operate that way. Neither does WalMart. And if any company could get away with that strategy in the marketplace, it would be WalMart, because WalMart has such a large share of total retail in the United States.

  15. Rich Rifkin

    I suggest maybe five sampled locations and compare them to Davis when it opens.

    That’s fine, as long as the items chosen are not “Grand Opening Specials.” I assume they would be the same price at the Davis Target as they would be at, say, the Target on Broadway in Sacramento or any other Target in the region.

    Nevertheless, this is really a different bet than I was suggesting. Your prior wording implied that you think the Davis Target will try to capture market share by offering very low prices in Davis, and then raising their prices once they have some sort of monopoly power. (That is illegal, by the way.) Target does not operate that way. Neither does WalMart. And if any company could get away with that strategy in the marketplace, it would be WalMart, because WalMart has such a large share of total retail in the United States.

  16. Rich Rifkin

    I suggest maybe five sampled locations and compare them to Davis when it opens.

    That’s fine, as long as the items chosen are not “Grand Opening Specials.” I assume they would be the same price at the Davis Target as they would be at, say, the Target on Broadway in Sacramento or any other Target in the region.

    Nevertheless, this is really a different bet than I was suggesting. Your prior wording implied that you think the Davis Target will try to capture market share by offering very low prices in Davis, and then raising their prices once they have some sort of monopoly power. (That is illegal, by the way.) Target does not operate that way. Neither does WalMart. And if any company could get away with that strategy in the marketplace, it would be WalMart, because WalMart has such a large share of total retail in the United States.

  17. Doug Paul Davis

    You’re not following me…

    If we assume that a Target comes in and tries to capture market share with low prices and then over time will raise those prices, we should be able to capture that phenonmenon by comparing the prices of Targets at different stages of their development. So we would expect a new Target in Davis to have lower prices than an old target in Woodland? That’s a way to assess the bet without waiting until 2010.

  18. Doug Paul Davis

    You’re not following me…

    If we assume that a Target comes in and tries to capture market share with low prices and then over time will raise those prices, we should be able to capture that phenonmenon by comparing the prices of Targets at different stages of their development. So we would expect a new Target in Davis to have lower prices than an old target in Woodland? That’s a way to assess the bet without waiting until 2010.

  19. Doug Paul Davis

    You’re not following me…

    If we assume that a Target comes in and tries to capture market share with low prices and then over time will raise those prices, we should be able to capture that phenonmenon by comparing the prices of Targets at different stages of their development. So we would expect a new Target in Davis to have lower prices than an old target in Woodland? That’s a way to assess the bet without waiting until 2010.

  20. Doug Paul Davis

    You’re not following me…

    If we assume that a Target comes in and tries to capture market share with low prices and then over time will raise those prices, we should be able to capture that phenonmenon by comparing the prices of Targets at different stages of their development. So we would expect a new Target in Davis to have lower prices than an old target in Woodland? That’s a way to assess the bet without waiting until 2010.

  21. Rich Rifkin

    I’m following you, Doug. I think you are wrong, but I understand what it is that you are saying.

    We’ll have to wait about year, I suppose, until the Davis Target opens, in order to see who is right and who wins the 25 cents.

    Also, I think your conceding my point about the Bogey’s site — that it will have a new tenant if Bogey’s goes out of business — negates your point about Chipotlé.

    You said that if Bogey’s leaves, due to the arrival of Target — and I should note that Bogey’s leaving would have absolutely nothing to do with Target coming — then you might not go downtown to buy books, and by not going downtown, you would not patronize nearby businesses, such as Chipotle.

    However, insofar as the Bogey’s site will be filled by another business, the new business will attract people to downtown (though perhaps not you). And hence, businesses like Chipotle will get some business indirectly from the attraction of the new business in the old Bogey’s site. In fact, it’s entirely possible that a new business there will bring more people to downtown Davis than Bogey’s ever did.

  22. Rich Rifkin

    I’m following you, Doug. I think you are wrong, but I understand what it is that you are saying.

    We’ll have to wait about year, I suppose, until the Davis Target opens, in order to see who is right and who wins the 25 cents.

    Also, I think your conceding my point about the Bogey’s site — that it will have a new tenant if Bogey’s goes out of business — negates your point about Chipotlé.

    You said that if Bogey’s leaves, due to the arrival of Target — and I should note that Bogey’s leaving would have absolutely nothing to do with Target coming — then you might not go downtown to buy books, and by not going downtown, you would not patronize nearby businesses, such as Chipotle.

    However, insofar as the Bogey’s site will be filled by another business, the new business will attract people to downtown (though perhaps not you). And hence, businesses like Chipotle will get some business indirectly from the attraction of the new business in the old Bogey’s site. In fact, it’s entirely possible that a new business there will bring more people to downtown Davis than Bogey’s ever did.

  23. Rich Rifkin

    I’m following you, Doug. I think you are wrong, but I understand what it is that you are saying.

    We’ll have to wait about year, I suppose, until the Davis Target opens, in order to see who is right and who wins the 25 cents.

    Also, I think your conceding my point about the Bogey’s site — that it will have a new tenant if Bogey’s goes out of business — negates your point about Chipotlé.

    You said that if Bogey’s leaves, due to the arrival of Target — and I should note that Bogey’s leaving would have absolutely nothing to do with Target coming — then you might not go downtown to buy books, and by not going downtown, you would not patronize nearby businesses, such as Chipotle.

    However, insofar as the Bogey’s site will be filled by another business, the new business will attract people to downtown (though perhaps not you). And hence, businesses like Chipotle will get some business indirectly from the attraction of the new business in the old Bogey’s site. In fact, it’s entirely possible that a new business there will bring more people to downtown Davis than Bogey’s ever did.

  24. Rich Rifkin

    I’m following you, Doug. I think you are wrong, but I understand what it is that you are saying.

    We’ll have to wait about year, I suppose, until the Davis Target opens, in order to see who is right and who wins the 25 cents.

    Also, I think your conceding my point about the Bogey’s site — that it will have a new tenant if Bogey’s goes out of business — negates your point about Chipotlé.

    You said that if Bogey’s leaves, due to the arrival of Target — and I should note that Bogey’s leaving would have absolutely nothing to do with Target coming — then you might not go downtown to buy books, and by not going downtown, you would not patronize nearby businesses, such as Chipotle.

    However, insofar as the Bogey’s site will be filled by another business, the new business will attract people to downtown (though perhaps not you). And hence, businesses like Chipotle will get some business indirectly from the attraction of the new business in the old Bogey’s site. In fact, it’s entirely possible that a new business there will bring more people to downtown Davis than Bogey’s ever did.

  25. Rich Rifkin

    In all of my life, the Davis downtown has never been as healthy or as vibrant as it is now. This is obviously a good thing — for the businesses, for the city and for the customers. Long gone are the days I remember (in the late ’70s and early ’80s) when half of the retail spaces in the core area were empty.

    However, the great success of the downtown has brought about a lot of car traffic and a parking space deficit in some parts of the core area. (I think part of the traffic problem is caused by cars driving around in circles looking for a place to park.)

    Looking forward, I think the thing the city of Davis is going to have to manage better is not a collapse of the downtown due to the arrival of Target — that collapse is pure fiction — but the ongoing success and hence crowding of the downtown.

    It’s easy to say that we should have more public transportation to the downtown. I think we should. But the unfortunate reality is that most people are addicted to the convenience of their own cars. Even if people could hop on a bus from any neighborhood in the city and go directly downtown — which from most neighborhoods they cannot; I know I would have to take a bus to the MU and then transfer — I think most people would still prefer to drive.

    Thus, we need more core area parking. And that is the future we need to plan for. That would do more for our downtown’s long term health than frothing about big box-phobia.

  26. Rich Rifkin

    In all of my life, the Davis downtown has never been as healthy or as vibrant as it is now. This is obviously a good thing — for the businesses, for the city and for the customers. Long gone are the days I remember (in the late ’70s and early ’80s) when half of the retail spaces in the core area were empty.

    However, the great success of the downtown has brought about a lot of car traffic and a parking space deficit in some parts of the core area. (I think part of the traffic problem is caused by cars driving around in circles looking for a place to park.)

    Looking forward, I think the thing the city of Davis is going to have to manage better is not a collapse of the downtown due to the arrival of Target — that collapse is pure fiction — but the ongoing success and hence crowding of the downtown.

    It’s easy to say that we should have more public transportation to the downtown. I think we should. But the unfortunate reality is that most people are addicted to the convenience of their own cars. Even if people could hop on a bus from any neighborhood in the city and go directly downtown — which from most neighborhoods they cannot; I know I would have to take a bus to the MU and then transfer — I think most people would still prefer to drive.

    Thus, we need more core area parking. And that is the future we need to plan for. That would do more for our downtown’s long term health than frothing about big box-phobia.

  27. Rich Rifkin

    In all of my life, the Davis downtown has never been as healthy or as vibrant as it is now. This is obviously a good thing — for the businesses, for the city and for the customers. Long gone are the days I remember (in the late ’70s and early ’80s) when half of the retail spaces in the core area were empty.

    However, the great success of the downtown has brought about a lot of car traffic and a parking space deficit in some parts of the core area. (I think part of the traffic problem is caused by cars driving around in circles looking for a place to park.)

    Looking forward, I think the thing the city of Davis is going to have to manage better is not a collapse of the downtown due to the arrival of Target — that collapse is pure fiction — but the ongoing success and hence crowding of the downtown.

    It’s easy to say that we should have more public transportation to the downtown. I think we should. But the unfortunate reality is that most people are addicted to the convenience of their own cars. Even if people could hop on a bus from any neighborhood in the city and go directly downtown — which from most neighborhoods they cannot; I know I would have to take a bus to the MU and then transfer — I think most people would still prefer to drive.

    Thus, we need more core area parking. And that is the future we need to plan for. That would do more for our downtown’s long term health than frothing about big box-phobia.

  28. Rich Rifkin

    In all of my life, the Davis downtown has never been as healthy or as vibrant as it is now. This is obviously a good thing — for the businesses, for the city and for the customers. Long gone are the days I remember (in the late ’70s and early ’80s) when half of the retail spaces in the core area were empty.

    However, the great success of the downtown has brought about a lot of car traffic and a parking space deficit in some parts of the core area. (I think part of the traffic problem is caused by cars driving around in circles looking for a place to park.)

    Looking forward, I think the thing the city of Davis is going to have to manage better is not a collapse of the downtown due to the arrival of Target — that collapse is pure fiction — but the ongoing success and hence crowding of the downtown.

    It’s easy to say that we should have more public transportation to the downtown. I think we should. But the unfortunate reality is that most people are addicted to the convenience of their own cars. Even if people could hop on a bus from any neighborhood in the city and go directly downtown — which from most neighborhoods they cannot; I know I would have to take a bus to the MU and then transfer — I think most people would still prefer to drive.

    Thus, we need more core area parking. And that is the future we need to plan for. That would do more for our downtown’s long term health than frothing about big box-phobia.

  29. Doug Paul Davis

    “Also, I think your conceding my point about the Bogey’s site — that it will have a new tenant if Bogey’s goes out of business — negates your point about Chipotlé.”

    I’m conceding it as far as my intention was not to suggest that there wouldn’t be another business there.

    I agree with you that the problem in downtown is parking and cars driving around looking for parking.

    But I do think you are underestimating the impact that Target will have not only on places that it directly competes with but also on places that will be harmed by people going less to downtown and more to other parts of town.

    I’m not saying it will collapse the downtown. I don’t think it will. I do think it will harm some of the existing businesses there.

  30. Doug Paul Davis

    “Also, I think your conceding my point about the Bogey’s site — that it will have a new tenant if Bogey’s goes out of business — negates your point about Chipotlé.”

    I’m conceding it as far as my intention was not to suggest that there wouldn’t be another business there.

    I agree with you that the problem in downtown is parking and cars driving around looking for parking.

    But I do think you are underestimating the impact that Target will have not only on places that it directly competes with but also on places that will be harmed by people going less to downtown and more to other parts of town.

    I’m not saying it will collapse the downtown. I don’t think it will. I do think it will harm some of the existing businesses there.

  31. Doug Paul Davis

    “Also, I think your conceding my point about the Bogey’s site — that it will have a new tenant if Bogey’s goes out of business — negates your point about Chipotlé.”

    I’m conceding it as far as my intention was not to suggest that there wouldn’t be another business there.

    I agree with you that the problem in downtown is parking and cars driving around looking for parking.

    But I do think you are underestimating the impact that Target will have not only on places that it directly competes with but also on places that will be harmed by people going less to downtown and more to other parts of town.

    I’m not saying it will collapse the downtown. I don’t think it will. I do think it will harm some of the existing businesses there.

  32. Doug Paul Davis

    “Also, I think your conceding my point about the Bogey’s site — that it will have a new tenant if Bogey’s goes out of business — negates your point about Chipotlé.”

    I’m conceding it as far as my intention was not to suggest that there wouldn’t be another business there.

    I agree with you that the problem in downtown is parking and cars driving around looking for parking.

    But I do think you are underestimating the impact that Target will have not only on places that it directly competes with but also on places that will be harmed by people going less to downtown and more to other parts of town.

    I’m not saying it will collapse the downtown. I don’t think it will. I do think it will harm some of the existing businesses there.

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