You'll have to pardon me if I am a little off today, but I am suffering from slight sleep deprivation this Friday. After waking up Thanksgiving morning, I didn't go to sleep until 7 A.M. Friday morning. You see, I participated in the great American tradition of insanity, Black Friday.
Having scoured every ad possible, both in the newspapers and online, I had my heart set on a new TV. Not just your regular TV, I wanted the flat panel, HD, plasma 52" one. Best Buy was my target. Having arrived at just before 3 A.M., I was somewhat disillusioned to find that they did not open until 5, though they were to start handing out tickets for selected items, such as my TV, at 3.
To make a long story short, after over two hours standing outside, I got in the store, got my TV and few other goodies and headed home.
However, not before experiencing the craziness of the day. One would certainly have a hard time making the argument that WNY is in difficult economic times. The stores were jam packed. Best Buy was packed, Target was amazingly busy. There was a line of traffic to get into the Transit Road location, and in the parking lot, nary a space to be found. All the way down Transit, the traffic seemed like rush hour. Car after car heading to experience Black Friday.
The problem? The line of cars was headed out of Niagara County. Not that this is surprising, those of us who live in the eastern end of the county don't have any place to shop. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Sure, there's Wal-Mart, but in reality, it's a dump that sells garbage.
Town of Lockport Supervisor Marc Smith is devoting a significant amount of time to his Transit North Corridor initiative. Sounds great, but what is a new facade going to do for me? Honestly, I could care less about any initiative that has to do with Transit Road that doesn't involve more shopping and more competition.
In addition, we're going to have a massive empty building as soon as Wal-Mart relocates. Apparently they need more room to peddle lead-filled products from China.
Black Friday was a great experience, albeit the three days it's going to take my body to re-adjust. But the thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars, that will be lost in sales tax revenue to Erie County, today alone, is cause for concern.
The Town of Lockport is one of the fastest growing communities in WNY, and all we have as a shopping choice is Wal-Mart. Mr. Smith, you need to be putting all of your efforts into creating a decent shopping district. We all know how much effort you've been putting into the Super Wal-Mart.
If that's what you want to be your legacy, a Super Wal-Mart and nothing else, you're well on your way to getting your wish.