Signal's Promise Of Cheaper Groceries Isn't Worth It - And Response

Monday, September 9, 2019

This letter concerns the proposed big box grocery store for Walden on Signal Mountain.  Some residents hope that store will offer groceries at a “cheaper price.”  Unfortunately, most consumers do not understand the grocery business.

The “great” prices advertised on television and in printed circulars are known as “loss leaders.”  Grocers lower the prices on some items to get customers in the store.  However, prices on other items are raised to balance the difference or “loss.”  Grocers operate on very small profit margins.  Lower prices on all groceries is not a reality.  I think Signal Mountain residents who think a big box grocery will help lower their weekly food bill are going to be disappointed.

I wonder about how added transportation up and down the mountain will affect those prices.   It makes sense that additional millage has to be factored into the cost of most items. 

While on the subject of transportation, if you live on Signal you are experiencing waiting while Signal Mountain Road is repaired.  The state is doing a great job with the 4-minute traffic light and I commend their work and progress.  But this is a reminder of how fragile Signal Mountain Road is.  Additional large semi-trucks going up and down the mountain each day to stock the big box grocery means continued road destruction, more repairs and more sitting at temporary traffic lights.  Who pays for that?  Signal Mountain residents: in taxes, lost productivity and wasted gas waiting in line.

 And, let’s remember a few weeks ago when a downed tree closed the W road.  Longer traffic waits and lines going up and down the mountain similar to winter snow days.  Those of us who have lived on Signal also know the many times the road is closed because a delivery truck has “missed” the curve at the Space House.  

The unfounded promise of cheaper groceries just is not worth it. Let the big box stores stay where they are where all consumers can be served not just a very small constituency of the community.

Eugenia D’. Allderdice
Signal Mountain

* * * 

The comments made by Eugenia D' are old sad stories used by those opposed to our new grocery store in Walden, where she doesn't live. They've tried scare tactics to instill fear to those undecided on our store, had non experts whole claimed fires would get us all, and big trucks would run over our cars and children.

And it's not big box, Home Depot and Lowes are big box. You could put three or four of this store in either building.

First she claims groceries will cost more because they are hauled up and down the mountain. They already cost more because we have to drive up and down the mountain for affordable groceries. The only available store up here is so expensive a lot of the folks on the affluent end of mountain don't shop there because of their prices. They prefer Whole Foods and the like. They import shrimp and other fish from Bangkok, Ethiopia and maybe Bangledesh, who knows, with prices four and five times as high. Meat is terribly expensive along with most other things they sell. They do have a large outdoor patio, with fireplace, where you can sit and drink a $10 cup of coffee.

All her threats are old news. Does she not think the W road is going to close at times anyway? Or a big truck misses the turn at the space house, snow, ice, and fallen trees are not going to happen if we don't get our new store? Shoot, I bet we still have big trucks coming up and down the mountain.

They know, she knows, we need this store. Especially for folks on fixed income, those without transportation who rely on others, convenience and lower prices on all groceries. There are people up here who live on the real, not transplanted, Signal Mountain, who have to live on less money per month than they probably spend in a week.

We want and need our new store and those in Signal Mountain town limits need to stay out of our, Walden's, business. They already claim they won't shop there. Good.

Arlos Dempsey
Walden (Signal Mountain), Tn



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