Finally, we don't have to live like individuals anymore. We in Eureka can now all live like a third of the rest of the country. No longer will we need to think about where to buy low quality merchandise. It will now all be at the same place. In Eureka's Bayshore Mall at one store.
As the years unfold you will forget about all of those mom and pop shops or franchise chains where you used to get everything from ammo, milk, bicycles, clothes, food, pet supplies, appliances, tires, computers, baby stuff, cosmetics, ear plugs, paint, pharmaceuticals, ladders, TV trays, DVD movies, toys, books, nails, chewing gum, 5 hour energy, BB guns, laundry detergent, toilet paper, shoes, games, gardening supplies, tools, antifreeze, oil, dinner plates, mirrors, patio furniture, fish for tanks and eating, pesticides, art supplies, bedding, bath supplies, pool and pond supplies, live plants, BBQ's and Smokers, Beer, alcohol, bandages, spices, candles, picture frames, tents, sleeping bags, entertainment centers, Xbox, Wii, Play station, backpacks, electronics, office supplies, lighting, generators, heating and cooling, jewelry, flooring, mattresses, musical instruments, hot tubs, saunas, cell phones, cameras, car care maintenance, exercise & fitness, fishing, marine, golf, hunting, vitamins, wedding & party supplies, hair care, janitorial supplies, school supplies, fragrances, shaving supplies, vision care, gift registry, and all of it from China when possible.
If I sound like I am not thrilled about this new wonder in Eureka it is because it means the likely end of many businesses that provide these products or services. Before Walmart opened in Redding, my aunt got a job working there. Her job was to call around to all of the other businesses in the Redding area and get prices of the goods above so that Walmart would be sure to sell them for less. After about a year when many businesses there folded due to this, Walmart stopped hiring and made my aunt and others do more and more as people quit or got fired. The job became unbearable and so she also quit but was not replaced and people in her department had to do more and more in less time with fewer people. The pay was low and so was the morale.
During the same time frame, I had a pretty good job working at a company called Sandy's Fast N' Fresh, that invented hot food and beverages at 7/11 stores. Walmart moved into the business nation wide and eventually bought the company I worked for and closed it down. Not because they were not making good profits but because they knew they could make more. My supervisor couldn't take the fact that he was no longer needed and freaked out. Gus put a gun to his head and blew it off. He was about my age then and felt that he couldn't live on the $7.50 an hour pay offered to the new guys. We weren't even offered jobs with the new company. They replaced 3 people on a local truck that did service to the stores to assure that product was rotated and only ordered when needed with 2 guys on a truck at just above minimum wage that just dropped shrink wrapped palates into the parking lots in the middle of the night. One guy would drive the truck to Southern California from Merced Ca. while the other one slept. They would both unload and the first driver would sleep on the way home. They weren't paid for sleeping and were super efficient. I haven't eaten a sandwich or burrito in a 7/11, am/pm or stop and go since then. No one is really code dating this stuff anymore except the franchisee of the store. We know how self policing works out. The company which was a division of Walmart was spun off and sold about 10 years ago but the damage was done.
I don't like that Walmart has moved into Eureka one bit. I moved about as far away from the company as I could get without leaving this country. I still wanted to live somewhere that other people lived and Eureka was about it for real towns. Now the virus has spread to Eureka. I'm sure that our little local economy is not ready to give up one third of it's retail business but that is what is about to happen.
In my opinion, Walmart is the worst possible business that could have moved into a dead mall. It will become the mall and one day the mall will become the tax base to Eureka. When that happens even people in the TV, radio and newspaper business will mostly go out of business because these smaller business that will go away are what keep the local media alive. Walmart only buys one ad and they do it on National TV or radio not local.
People wonder why I am so upset about the way homeless people are treated in this county. It is because many of us are one bad decision like this away from becoming the working poor or homeless.
I think that in the next few years there will be a lot of available commercial real estate in this county. Thankfully we still have the underground economy and the feds have shown that they aren't about to let Walmart sell our main export. I'll see you all in the underground. Walmart will probably sell the scissors at below cost.