UPDATE March 17th, 2012
I have received several heads up from you that a Walmart is scheduled for Spring 2014 in Sechelt next to the hospital where the gas station and employment centre and old trailer park use to be. Apparently Petro Canada’s lease is up and they bought the Esso station on the corner.
Sechelt WalMart rumours. Secret council meetings.
Community split on whether a Sechelt WalMart is good or bad?
Here’s what you had to say about the giant retail outlet rumoured to be coming to the Sunshine Coast, BC.
A huge response, 73 comments so far, from local residents when I asked about the rumoured retail outlet coming to the Tsain-Ko Mall or trailer park on Shishalh First Nation Band lands.
My interest in this issue re-started when a facebook friends sent me a message asking me what I knew about these rumours. Same as all of you.
The rumours have swirled for a few years after the Gibsons Walmart attempt caused a huge public uproar and backlash from protesters who fear this type of business is unsustainable to the community and planet.
Adding fuel to the fire is that none of the leases at the trailer park in Sechelt have been renewed and their time has come up and they are being removed.
Then I hear from several sources who confirmed the Band Council has had a “secret” meeting about the Sechelt Walmart store.
To be fair I contacted the Sechelt Band for a quick comment or statement by phone or email twice on August 12, 2010, at 11:45am and 3pm. I wrote it into my note book. The Administration Office told me that I should call Barbara at the Planning and Development office, for the Sechelt Nation.
I wanted to give the band an opportunity to be included. I explained on the answering machine that I would be writing an article for my blog, and I wanted to include them in the discussion, and only needed a very brief short comment by phone or email. Those calls and messages have never been returned.
I am a huge fan of our Sechelt Nation. A cheerleader in fact! I am so proud of them and I do whatever, whenever, I can to support them in anything they do.
Its now September 29th, and I have been told by numerous band members that they experience the very same thing and that I should not take the un-returned phone calls from the band administration and council personally in any way.
I am going ahead with the blog, as many of you did respond and reply, as it is an important issue with the community, and as you can see by the excellent feedback I received below….. I don’t think its fair to you who have been part of the dialogue to hold the article back any longer.
Any further comments you might add are all welcome!
or NOT 2 Walmart?
That is the Question.
Would you support a Walmart in Sechelt? Why/why not?
Rumours its being built at trailer park or Tsain-ko mall.
The High Cost of Low Price, Wal-Mart The Movie
Amber Lee Foss
i say yes. it would change the lives of hundreds i shop there all the time. has every thing. but as it has everything there may be no need for smaller places.
no WAY would I support a Wal-Mart on the Sunshine Coast…I’d hate it. Read Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich to learn about just how poorly Wal-Mart treats its employees…
Amber Lee Foss
i no tons of ppl that work in the one here. there treated the same as ppl at extra foods, claytons, canadian tire. good quality for a good price.
I thought it was odd there was a Wal Mart flyer in my mail? Not a huge fan, but I suppose there is a place for a budget store for young families…not really sure, I do think they kill small business. Just drive through small town USA and take a look at the massive Wal-Mart stores on the outskirts of the towns….
I won’t comment further
I would support it. I am a mom of two young kids and there are items that I need that I can’t get here. I think it is going to make the other “big box” stores rethink their pricing. As for the smaller stores, they sell a lot of items you can’t get at walmart. They will survive.
sounds like i am hearing from you a 50/50 split. budget store convenience at the cost of a small town… http://www.storyofstuff.com/
interesting marketing campaign they have going, flyers in the mail before the store is even built, to drive interest and demand for them. it shows you how cunning they are. cheap prices.. yes. community player… I’m not sold on that.
“walmarts” should NOT be encouraged.
it is cheaper. yes. it has more things, yes….
but, then we will see more and more “crap” out there. when we already have a lot of that…. and, look where that has got us?
The first Wal-mart flyer – is that a tell tale sign it is a done deal?
Aaron John Harrison I would rather pay more for a few things of good quality and be able to be happy with self. I don’t support Walmart. I don’t welcome Walmart.
I used to hate walmart. But it’s good for single moms like me. If this town would get a few more shops with better prices then I would shop there instead of walmart. Just saying…
I’m very disappointed…Walmart belongs in the city, NOT on the Sunshine Coast.
I agree with you Kate, I am single with a 16, 14 and 12 yr old girls . . . living with the cost of groceries here is bad enough!! Im getting tired of being ripped off
Also, its funny that everyone that was dead set against london drugs coming here, and I mean right dead set against it are the stores biggest shoppers today . . . funny how when they can save money themselves it is different. Money today does not go very far and if we can save a few dollars great, also, think of all the jobs it creates . . I cannot get work and find it very, very difficult as my girls get a little older each and every year. I would much rather stay and shop here then go to Vancouver and shop, especially for back to school and christmas.
We need a Walmart. There are no choices for shopping if you have children, and if you are male there is nowhere to buy clothes at a reasonable price. A little competition for our local shops is a good thing. If you have choices on the coast then people are more apt to stay here and not go to Vancouver.
If enough voices are heard perhaps sanity will prevail. This is a democracy after all (isn’t it?)…
No, it is a done deal, I heard about it back in June allen
watch it become ghostshelt, when there is no choice but to shop at walmart as they have forced every other store out of business .. the tourists will love that its just like every other town ..no diversity …just 1 box store after another …all the same .blandland on bandland…..i rarely go to sechelt and soon there def wont be a reason to… economics wins for most families whilst we condone other impoverished workers to a life of poverty. think before you buy do you really need it or is it just more cheap crap ? really ?? do you really need it????
As one human that pays compound interest on money created out of no-thing by banks. Why add to it? Nope….It’s just more slavery, in a different location.
i would support a walmart if they carried items made in CANADA NOT CHINA
I support it the businesses here do not know much about customer service maybe they can lose that well if ya dont want to pay for it here go catch the ferry attitude I have lived in a town that had a walmart come in and the small shops just got smarter and friendlier Walmart paid the city council money and the city made main street; which was where all the shops were nicer
I am totally against it and will never, ever shop there. I would cheerfully spend an extra $20 on every grocery/clothing order to avoid handing money over to that corporation.
Walmart kills small businesses, replaces a wide number of local… employers with ONE employer that treats its employees horribly, purposely drives down the quality of the goods that are available to consumers, and encourages a wasteful lifestyle based on buying a lot of cheap crap that breaks or wears out and needs to be replaced.
No, thank you.
If you find it frustrating to buy things on the Coast, I suggest you start exploring online marketplaces such as eBay or Etsy. I have gotten amazing deals on incredibly well-made clothing for myself and my children, handbags, and items of jewelry — all at a fraction of the price you would normally find at a store. Think Walmart prices for Saks Fifth Ave items… Now THAT’s what I call a deal.
We support family small business which builds our community. Chains, franchise or big box stores are not about us. I offer the Wild Bistro and the community they built versus Tim Horton’s exploitation of imported workers as an example. You may get junk at cheap prices with Walmart or Canadian Tire but at what cost? I encourage people to consider the many meanings of “you get what you pay for”.
I like Walmart and I would be happy to see one replace a trailer park any day ! like it or lump it ! – thats how I feel !
I like walmart to & if its in our community they will give back. WalMart is known for that. Plus alot of us are suffering paying too much for alot of things and wall mart will help the ones that need to streach their dollars.
I think streach is a new word I like it … its a combination of stretch and reach- well done Darlene !
Im sorry but I dont thinks its going to be a huge store, nor is it going to make the small businesses close, for example I would still buy my jeans at Work Wear world cause they have the jeans I like, & I would till shop IGA & Super Valu those to lest we not forget are big box stores! Home Hardware as well, Starbucks, Subway, Rona, come on people we have alot of corporations here. Just cause they are franchised dosent mean they are not under a corporate umbrella. Told what they can sell, how much they can charge, etc etc. Some of you may disagree, But if the store is in our community we are then not going to another community to spend our money like North Van or Powell River. Saving on fuel getting & driving on the ferry. And familes are stuggling, competition is good.
I’m 100% for a walmart, like previously said we already have so many “big box corps” and people get used to it and you all shop there. If prices were better on the coast I would shop here but I can’t stand spending $100 or more on a pair of… jeans or shoes when I can get them in town for $20 or $30…. The selection and variety isn’t good enough on the coast, by no means will this town ever resemble Vancouver but some of us need a break on prices so sorry to the small businesses but hopefully we can all live and work together on these issues
I don’t support them at all! yuck! & so hard on local small businesses!
Ever wonder what will happen when all the small stores are closed because Wal Mart came to town ? The only place to shop will be Wal Mart !Then they will raise all thier prices !and then what?????
Duane already knows how I feel, the big picture is that this type of retail outlet reenforces a dangerous mindset that has brought us to the brink of disaster. We used to depend on quality to get us through life, our disposable culture cann…ot be sustained. We are being penny wise and pound (dollar) foolish! Being the father of a 4 year old I am guilty of buying crap but found a lot more satisfaction (and Max did too) in doing thing like building our own toys. Even if it breaks after one day, like most products these days, at least we had the time together in it’s creation.
Check this out:
And their history of employee abuse is legendary!
The Walton family seem to be the worst example of western greed.
Max and I love this one!
no thanks , bad idea…
we were able to keep it out of gibsons with the strength of the community but unfortunately we will have no say in Sechelt with it being slotted for bandland…..saddens me greatly…
As I said above, I am not a huge fan. Reality is if Wal-Mart is in Sechelt people will shop there and it spells closure for many small businesses. London Drugs was a very good example (above) you couldn’t get near that place for weeks and that was after so many people were damned if they would shop at a “Big box store” in Gibson’s…..it is really too bad….
I enjoy having a choice, Extra food didn’t close down Claytons… I still go to Claytons for some shopping, I heard recently that Extra foods is suffering.
yes, kelly i agree. walmart can ruin a small town and why not a zellers, a canadian company (or is it not anymore!!??)
Being Frugal and on a budget, think this is about time. Yeah Walmart! Change is good, but people always seem to fight/resent it. Finally affordable clothing for kids etc.
Christine to correct you ,Pharmasave was actually put out of business first, they used to be in the mall where Reitman’s is now and I loved that store and its employees. I am not judging anyone regarding where they shop; it was just an observation as I remember the dialogue and anger (which I was not a part of) surrounding LD and how many people were not going to shop there…..so if all of the people who stated they would never set foot in the door had stuck to that statement, what would have happened? I don’t know….I think people have a right to shop where they choose and just because I am not a huge fan of Wal-Mart doesn’t mean I am going to judge anyone that uses their services or that I never will. So, my point was that people shop where it is convenient to do so and I suppose this puts us in agreement Take care have a great day. Also does anyone know for sure if Wal-Mart is actually coming to the Coast? I have heard this rumor for years and years now….the picketing in Gibson’s etc…
Was just going thru recycling !Yes I got a Wal Mart flyer and didn`t even know it !and yes I guess I did forget about Pharmasave getting pushed out of the mall !all the more reason to think about the small business that will be affected if and when Wal Mart comes to the coast !Sad!
i agree with kori, pro!!!!
just something else to put out there……have we thought about the jobs it will provide for people on the coast? I know we have all heard of the way they are treated,put this is hear say and doesn’t mean it is all walmart store.
Wow.. way more people saying they would like one than I would have thought… perhaps we need to put out some info to the local stores on how they can work this market information and stave off a Wall Mart. Im sure they dont want one here.. Perhaps if the consumer educated the store.. Funny how the local retailers dont really bond together here and show the consumer they can be as effective a walmart..
Id support it, why not. I’ve been here 20 years, and many of the local shops have been taking advantage of the ‘shop local’ strategy and over-pricing for years. Not to mention, keeping wages low, scattered schedules, cutting hours when they feel, no benefits, ect…
People like to complain, I was here when both McDonalds and Canadian Tire were protested, my guess is the same people that are against their opening, are the same people that eat there and shop there and continue to complain!!
i agree lets get a store that is affordable for our town, all the business’s will still be know and loved for there product and clientele they have built over the years…
Competition is healthy, And for who ever said there’s only 1 drugstore in Gibsons there are actually 2, Howe Sound Pharmacy, is right next door to the Medical Clinic.
Regardless I know alot of families living on or below the poverty line trying to stretch what little money they have will be glad to have a store that the prices are afordable
I have heard it referred to as “Mall Wart”
and?? this means u are against it??
it is time for us, as a community and as a civilization, for us to move away from poison and move toward sustainable, healthy living. That means moving away from economic poison, social poison, chemical poison, the poison of avarice, the poison of sociopathy, poison of the land and water, poison of each other. just sayin’.
A&W didnt put the Old Boot out of business!
WOW this makes me so SAD!! First I would like to wake up the people that think any LOCAL retailer can compete with Walmart. When I had my store, I could not purchase WHOLESALE what Walmart sold for retail. They own most of the plants in …China. If you think Canadian corporations can compete when our manufacturers pay $28/hr, keep buying from China, and we can all work here for $2/day/ Pay your mortgage with that. Go to Quesnel where everyone wanted Walmart, and now they all complain that there is nowhere else to shop. Look at the 10 richest people in the world-6 of them own Walmart. Please ask yourself why?
Something that seems to be forgotten by people that say they don’t mind paying more-there are many that do not have the luxury to say that. If they are unable to find suitable things in the local thrift stores they do without as they cannot afford some of the local boutique style stores and the ferry fares to have choice in town. I am a huge supporter of the local businesses and thank them immensely for the support they give back to our organizations, but there is the possibility of an increase to our local economy by having those that routinely shop in Vancouver stay and spend their dollars here (gas, eating out, etc.). We are living in a community that does not offer enought to support the variety of families and lifestyles that reside here. If it is true that it is a done deal maybe our community can rally together to keep Walmart accountable to our communities’ varied lifestyles instead of trying to prevent some choice for these families.
Since Wal-Mart came to Canada, places like Woolco, Woodwards, Woolworths, Eatons, Kresge and K-Mart have all disappeared. Each one of those retailers had great quality products made here or in USA. Yes, Wal-Mart sells for less but the quality is less and products are made in a foreign country. I miss days of old when we had way more choice and fun sales like $1.49 day.
A small Walmart like the one in Powell River would be OK but not the big box version; too hard on smaller businesses.
Hmmmmm ………. I remember the uproar caused B4 McDonald’s even broke ground here, in Sechelt.
Lots of people were against it coming here. The local paper ran comments of everyone being against this coming here for weeks.
Yet, on the very 1st day, when it opened, you couldn’t even get in there, it was so packed. (I wonder if it was from all those people who were against it in the 1st place ?)
Then they built a new addition onto it, bcos the space was too small for all of the customers. Just a note of comparison.
Well I did get their flyer in the mail… so… and yes, I’ve heard those rumours too. The thing with it is that’s usually the beginning of the end for small business. I once wrote a poem to protest the Mallwart coming into Courtenay (my first BC hometown) “big box stores go hand in fist with economic dis- reality where coke ships in and water sucks out …” uh, can’t remember the rest right now… the end of the story was the big w eventually bought into the community and now the place is over run with every franchise imaginable, almost as bad as nanaimo.
Kim Brown Drescher
Finally, somewhere to get kid’s socks! I remember when everyone thought London Drugs was going to ruin Gibsons … funny how I always see people shopping there tho…
No, I would not mainly because the grasping behemoth has already managed to kill an impressive number of small towns in its consumerist wake. R.I.P. Sechelt.
not particularly interested in shopping at Wally’s world…pretty much figure it is like CT where everything you buy breaks and needs returned. I do agree that some local small business’ could smarten up with hours/prices and public relations. As for the struggling single Mom’s out there..sorry..I managed without WM…God Bless the thrift stores.
the thrift stores are valuable for what they are, but certainly theres a happy medium, Im not rich nor poor, jobs will be created, and not every business will close. but certainly nothing will change if the sunshine cost doesnt do something, its not sustaining the population. the small local business is never going to hire more than the few family and friends that work there now.and as for the talk about cheap imports and labor laws, has anyone ever protested the dollar stores etc?
I protest the Dollar Stores and their cheap Imported Junk ! ! ! )
So what happens when a junkbox like Wallmart comes to town? …and a thousand people park their cars in the lot and have a block party and don’t shop? ….or do shop and fill up three carts and leave them in the aisle? ….or put 300 items …on the card on Tuesday and then return them Tuesday afternoon? …or go on mass and sit in the store and not leave at closing time? ….or put a DVD showing WM unethical practices on the video wall in the store? Theater and humor are powerful tools and I may have a new hobby. Come and join Phill and the Merry Pranksters
No to Walmart. A cancer on local business.
Kathy McDougall Elson
bring it on. The town is growing and we need to get some more big stores. Where can you find kids stuff on the coast reasonably priced that isn’t garbage? As long as they don’t sell a bunch of Made in China stuff though
Of course it’ll be a bunch of made-in-China crap. We’re talking Walmart, right? As smaller businesses close around town even the more affluent will be forced to buy cheap, third-world-labour exploited Walmart garbage for lack of any other stores. It would kill the thrift stores and consignment shops as well as higher end stores. This is a well-known phenomenon that occurs wherever Walmart goes.
Before London Drugs, there was also a photo shop in the mall, I believe it had been there some time. There was one in Sechelt too, before Shoppers Drug Mart and Extra Foods. Sunnycrest had an independent coffee shop before Starbucks squeezed it out and the owner had to leave the Coast for the flatlands. And I’m barely putting any effort into thinking about this right now, so I’m sure there’s more.
I never realized what poison Walmart is until the uproar in Gibsons. Someone handed me a sheet one day outlining the problems with Walmart, and I read it in horror…realizing it was exactly what had happened to my hometown of New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. In the 1980′s we had a thriving downtown core and malls at either side of town. The small old Aberdeen mall had among other things, a Sobeys, Zellers, Reitmans and Woolco, with a K-mart next door (which my Mom worked at from before it opened til it closed….23 years). The new Highland Square mall had a lot of the trendier stores and was thriving, eventually bringing in Sears and Canadian Tire. I was a kid, so forgive me if I get any facts wrong as to what was where and when. When I Wikipedia Woolco, it says they were acquired by Walmart in 1994, which sounds about right for the time things started hitting the fan…it was the year I turned 16 and started working at Zellers. So Woolco was the first casualty, we watched it’s doors close as Walmart opened at the “New Mall”. Attempting to stay competitive, Zellers acquired Kmart Canada in 1998, shutting it’s doors…these were the blatantly obvious things we all knew. THEN I read that paper that someone handed me at my business in Gibsons and realized Walmart had destroyed my hometown. The downtown is now a shadow of what it once was, with several ‘mysterious’ fires shutting down the businesses that held out the longest. The old mall now has Zellers and Sobeys, with most of it’s mass occupied by a call centre – you know how those things pop up in struggling communities. The ‘New’ mall – as the locals still call it all these years later – has it’s highs and lows, but is nothing compared to what it once was and you can see evidence of things that have closed due to the ‘competition’…the others have only survived because Walmart doesn’t carry the same product. Funny how all those ‘little’ box stores and small businesses were thriving together until the Walmart virus infected town. It has even outgrown the new mall in recent years and had to build itself a bigger box nearby. I’ve felt guilt walking anywhere near a Walmart since I realized all this…not to mention the China factor.
That said, I did buy hand sanitizer there about 14 months ago at the store in Vernon, but it’s not on my regular path when I hit the city, and I hope it does not arrive here on the Coast.
I wish you pro-Walmarters could see the before and after of New Glasgow. I honestly didn’t realize it myself, and probably would have been for the store if I was still living under that same rock.
In the event that Walmart comes to Sechelt, small independent businesses need only use their imaginations and creativity to ensure their continued prosperity and sell items that one cannot purchase at Walmart: Mail-order brides, sanity, books on how to shoplift and not get caught, hot air balloons, marijuana, love, time machines, porn, electric cars, trips down memory lane, puppies, the smell of the ocean on a warm summer morning, red red wine, liposuction, tigers, sailboats, lottery tickets, fake boobs, step stools, sex toys, fresh meat, a pentacle on a chain, caskets, people, the answers to life’s most important questions, and of course… Canadian made products
Its interesting that much of the anti Walmart opinion is misinformed about the quality of goods and services. Walmart sells only name brands and any shopper who has been in their stores knows this. Those that state otherwise are operating from a position of ignorance. I am more likely to buy “crap” cheaply made from dollar stores and some local merchants here than at Walmart. Many of the Walmart suppliers were clients of mine and they included Nike, Rubbermaid, Sony, Black and Decker, makita, Levi and others among other high end brands.
In addition the community poison pill aspect is again a myth. The most recent investigations indicate that contrary to the myth, Walmart anchors a renewal of retailing. Ask any retailer in any location who has competed for adjacent space near a Walmart.
Some of our local merchants serve up a menu of very limited merchandise lines, high costs (ah yes – the ferry costs for sure) and limited store hours. We have a very poor retail environment on the Sunshine Coast and that is why so many coasters shop on the Lower Mainland. I want a Walmart here so I can purchase my retail needs at a price I can afford to pay. Many people here live on marginal incomes and they are being held hostage to an uncompetitive market place.
Kim Kerr Fenton
just read all the comments…. as a shop owner I have mixed feelings about walmart. not for the health of my own store but for the community at large… we need more choices on the coast, and we lose sales as a family will go to walmart in the city to buy kids shoes, for example, and while there they will get groceries, buy gas, go to a movie, buy some yarn or even go to London Drugs or Canadian Tire. If they could buy shoes here, all the rest of the purchases would be made here. I would like to see Zellers rather than walmart, tho.
As far as carrying name brand merchandise, Walmart does carry some bigger names, but I’ve generally found it’s the lower quality items of their lines…just like many stores now manufacture lower quality items just to sell at Factory Outlet Stores where they can easily prey on suckers who are only buying for the name: http://putthison.com/post/505850747/outletmallshopping
”the more we grow the more people want things to stay the same!” We live in a tourist community, yet people complain when the tourist come … too busy, ferry’s crowded, blah, blah, blah. Communities are growing so why shouldn’t the business growth. I’m all for Walmart coming, healthy competition is good (as well as good customer service which is more than lacking in some business’s). Being a single parent I have no problem/regret/shame to say I shop there and that being said it will also not stop me from shopping at the “smaller” local stores either whether they be a boutique, drugstore or hardware store!! If the service is good I will always shop there regardless. If I need something in particular that I can’t get on the coast I will save my duckets I do exactly what Kim Fenton said …. go to town and buy “everything” I need at that time in a single trip … then ALL the stores on the coast miss out …hummm …. go figure!!
As you can see some great comments, discussion and links submitted.
Any further comments are welcome. I would love to hear from the Sechelt Nation too!
Thanks for reading my blog and especially all your feedback!!!
What I think is of out most importance is open dialogue to bring us together and foster a healthy sustainable community and planet for generations to come.
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