Thinning the herd

Monday, December 10, 2018

Cherokee residents should cease and desist with the teary-eyed wringing of hands over the announced future closing of the local Shopko Hometown Store.

Coming on the heels of the October announcement from Sears Holdings bankruptcy filing to shutter the Cherokee KMart Store, along with a couple downtown retailers calling it quits, it is understandable for Cherokee County residents to be shocked, disappointed, forlorn, humbled, and concerned about where to go when for basic consumer purchases.

First off, Shopko and KMart and other retailer closings are not your fault. Sure, maybe you could have shopped those stores more often instead of running to the City or nearest Walmart, or buying online, but you didnít.

Sales trends, competition and the go-to fall guy ďprofitabilityĒ are the culprits cited by the corporations choosing to close stores and shutter factories. And that profitability has many faces controlled by millionaire CEOs and hungry stockholders with eyes only on the bottom line. Negative profitability can be as simple as gleaning $9,000 per week profits instead of the projects $10,000. And those weeks where it was $15,000 or $20,000 - Yippee! We just donít count them.

Corporations say to hell with humanity, towns, shoppers, employees, image, reputationÖit must pencil out to projected revenues or bring on the chopping block. Creativity and corporations are incompatible. Always have been.

With the completion of 4-lane Iowa Highway 20, Dollar General, Dollar Tree, convenience stores and fully-equipped truck stops began popping up. Not only did they intercept consumers along the highway, but the local consumers in places like Holstein and Correctionville also are enticed to shop there, foregoing other local biz, including driving to Cherokee to buy similar items at KMart and Shopko.

Itís the nature of the beast. Thatís what corporations mean by sales trends and profitability. Their stores may still be profitable, but their margins have eroded and in this cut-throat world, for them itís either sake or sayonara.

True, we Cherokeans must suck it up and work and hope for better days ahead. If we donít care if youíre as invested in this community as you say you are, we shouldnít care if you hit the #$%^& road and make room for somebody who WANTS to be a part of Our Town.

To whom it may concern: If we donít see you in the future, weíll see you in the pasture.

And take your signs with you when you go.