Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Lowe's, Let's Destroy Something Together

Lowe's Home Improvement store in Schaumburg, Illinois snuck out in the middle of the night on Tuesday, closing the doors on it's 116,000 square foot store. The store had been open for 5 years. Lowe's also closed a nearby store in Elgin, Illinois.

Schaumburg is famous for Woodfield Mall which brings in a billion or so in revenue for the Village but, here's the question everyone should be asking; How much did tax incentives, deferred lease payments, quickly approved construction permits, free electricity, water and sewage did Lowe's get for convincing Schaumburg officials of all the wonderful jobs and money Lowe's would bring in?

Meanwhile, a nearby ACE hardware on Negre and Plum Grove Road is owned and operated by a family that has lived in the Schaumburg area for years, do you think they received any assistance?

Well, this is the crack-like allure Big Box Stores exert upon Village officials. They come in with an easy smile and visions of big time tax revenues for a town and like addicts, Village managers bend over to accommodate them. Of course, Lowe's, Wal Mart, target and the rest of the Big Box Conglomerates can easily slide from friendly to menacing by threatening to just open up in a neighboring town.

And so these big box bastards undercut local small shops and, in the past, have even run at a loss for years because they know once they eliminate the small shops they can raise prices. And if that tried and true technique should fail, say because of a Republican Recession,
“The sales numbers missed estimates,” said Abby Buford, a spokeswoman for Lowe's. “Sales were well below projections and they did not improve over time.”
Then they simply leave and leave a gaping monstrosity of a building vacant in your town.

And they call it Capitalism, because they Capitalize.

1 comment:

squatlo said...

These deals wherein taxes are deferred or waived altogether, coupled with incentives including roads, sewer improvements, and all the other things communities do to entice corporations to build their factories, big box stores, or warehouses essentially pit towns against towns, states against states, with no restrictions placed on those corporations to reimburse towns or states if they pull up stakes and leave for greener pastures.
A few years ago Nashville built a stadium for the Houston Oilers, and essentially stole Houston's NFL franchise. The state of TN issued bonds, made loans, and built a stadium to the team owner's specs, then gave him parking and concession rights to boot. Nashville and the state have to beg his permission to use OUR stadium for concerts or events, and even then he gets a major league cut of parking and conessions. We have no guarantees Bud Adams won't pack up tomorrow and move the team to Louisville.
Why not require corps or sports teams to reimburse if they leave?
Simple enough... we give you this amount in incentives, you pay it back if you want to abandon ship.