No Welcome Mat for Family Dollar
A national chain’s arrival has the locals upset over fears of the potential loss of jobs as well as their community spirit. But it’s not Walmart this time; it’s Family Dollar.
After news hit the small mountain community of Ridgway, CO that the budget chain was coming to their town, residents staged protest rallies and collected more than 700 signatures asking Family Dollar not to open a store. After failing to convince Family Dollar’s management to change their mind and failing to prevent them from obtaining a building permit, residents launched an online pledge calling for a national boycott of the chain.
"It’s an issue that a majority of people in Ridgway feel passionate about," Vicci Spencer, a Ridgway resident and an organizer of Citizens to Preserve Ridgway, told the Telluride Watch. "We all moved here because we wanted to get away from life in big cities that are full of Walmarts and big box stores. We like the character of our little small town, and its aesthetics are very important to us. We are here for the beauty and the small Western town atmosphere and we want to keep it that way."
Family Dollar spokesman Josh Braverman told The Charlotte Observer that he’s received emails from Ridgway residents enthused about the store, which will eliminate almost a 60-mile round-trip to the nearest Family Dollar in Montrose, CO.
At 8,000 square feet, the Ridgway Family Dollar will be far smaller than a typical big box, that run from 50,000 to 200,000 square feet, and won’t kill local businesses, he added.
"We take pride in offering our neighbors a great value alternative on the name-brand items they need and use every day," Mr. Braverman told The Denver Post. "We’re a community store that employs five to seven people from the local area, and we look for ways to give back directly to the communities we serve through our corporate giving."
Besides pushing for the national and local boycott of Family Dollar, Citizens to Preserve Ridgway is focusing on changing town codes to keep out any future chain stores.
Ms. Spencer told The Denver Post, "Since our appeals to the corporation have gone unheeded, we are fighting back with the only weapons available — our pocketbooks and public opinion."
- Pledge To Boycott Family Dollar – gopetition.com
- Matthews-based Family Dollar not wanted out West – The Charlotte Observer
- Family Dollar Store Looms Large on Ridgway Horizon – Telluride Watch
- Colorado town calling for a national boycott of Family Dollar stores – The Denver Post
Discussion Questions: How strong is anti-chain sentiment across the country? Should retailers take local sentiment into consideration when deciding whether to open a store or not?