Knowledge crucial for merchants to survive Wal-Mart
A little knowledge can be a powerful thing, especially against fear. Theres a lot of fear among Wadena merchants and others about what Wal-Mart could do to the family-owned businesses that make up the strength of our town. The retail giant is exp...
A little knowledge can be a powerful thing, especially against fear.
Theres a lot of fear among Wadena merchants and others about what Wal-Mart could do to the family-owned businesses that make up the strength of our town. The retail giant is expected to break ground this year with a 100,000-square-foot Supercenter opening in 2007.
To help try to calm the panic, Wadena Area Chamber of Commerce and the Partners for a Healthy Wadena Region are scheduling a meeting for business people.
Ryan Pesch of the University of Minnesota Extension will speak on Small Store Success Strategies from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday at Minnesota State Community and Technical College Wadena Campus room 33.
Pesch will talk about surviving a big-box store in general. He will cover topics ranging from effective pricing strategies to getting to know your customers better (for a list of topics, see Page 10).
A lot has been said since Wal-Mart announced in the fall that it planned to build here. Theres been talk that small businesses cant survive in the face of such a huge force as Wal-Mart. Others have said that Wal-Mart will attract businesses to town. Some folks arent sure what to think. Granted, it can be scary.
Honestly, a lot of unknowns remain. Its hard to know what effect Wal-Mart will have on our town. But this is sure: The big box is coming, and businesses that arent prepared will have a tougher time.
Another certainty is that more knowledge is a good way to combat fear. Building knowledge is a great way to build strategies to keep businesses strong. If you seek knowledge, you can also form strategies that will help keep your business strong. Maybe youll branch out, find new ways of doing business and discover a way to continue to best serve your customers.
Attending this free meeting is a great start. The price is right, and merchants cant afford to miss it.
The truth is, Wadena merchants already compete with big-box stores in other communities. Complaining and worrying about Wal-Mart wont help. Learning how to best prepare for it is Wadenas best bet.