I read with a great deal of interest letters about local shopping. This has been an issue, not just in Salmon Arm, but many smaller towns throughout Canada. At the moment in Salmon Arm the main issue is the gas prices, which is being blamed for many people shopping out of town, but the issue goes much deeper.
I, and my brother, owned a business in Salmon Arm for close to 23 years and we were very much aware of many people shopping out of town. We, as a business, had to adapt, and since our business was mainly in the wholesale sector, it made it easier for us to stay in business. We were a food manufacturer that delivered our products to different retail stores to sell. We would have to travel farther and farther from our manufacturing base to keep our sales growing; in other words we faced the facts and realized that we could not depend on the Salmon Arm population for support.
After selling the business, I relocated to Alberta and found work in my field in the middle-management sector. I worked in Alberta for about 12 years. I moved back to Salmon Arm about six years ago and, not surprisingly, not much has changed.
Since returning, I have experienced businesses in Salmon Arm who do not know the meaning of “customer service.” I have decided that for any large purchases, I will be going out of town. Basically the only shopping I do in Salmon Arm is for groceries.
When businesses start to believe that they do not really need “your” business because there are many more “customers” they can take advantage of, they slowly lose the respect. It only takes five seconds to lose a customer, but it can be five years, if at all, to get that customer back.
The price of gas being much lower in the surrounding towns is a bonus to myself. I travel out of town quite frequently. My next trip out of town will be for Christmas gifts.
Thank you Salmon Arm.