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Letter: Could we interest Target in Kmart’s location?

With Friday’s announcement of Kmart’s closing, Salisbury’s business community has an unprecedented opportunity to recruit a highly desired retailer that will double the number of  employees, add to our tax base and enhance our city’s attractiveness to other companies.

The loss of Kmart makes one thing clear — retailers whose market is middle- to lower-income residents (i.e. Fred’s, Magic Mart) cannot compete with Walmart, which also hastened the closing of smaller hometown retailers. Rather, it opens the market to Target, a retailer many citizens have desired for years.

Consider these factors: The typical Target has an employee base and square footage twice that of the typical Kmart. Salisbury/Rowan citizens seeking a Target must choose between stores in the Triad or in Concord, all outside of Rowan, meaning property and sales tax income and residual sales (e.g. restaurants) go elsewhere.

Additionally, placement of a Target in Salisbury creates an enviable “target” market, potentially drawing shoppers from Lexington (nearest store in Triad), Statesville (nearest store in Huntersville), and Albemarle (nearest store in Concord). Having a Target here also increases our attractiveness to other companies considering Salisbury/Rowan for relocation because, quite simply, it indicates we have “arrived.”

Now is the time for our team to step up and grab a win for everyone, but concessions must be made to make this happen. Let’s face it — the recruitment game is now premised upon meeting employers halfway.

The Economic Development Commission must “coach” our team to victory by obtaining seed money from the state, obtaining property tax breaks and installation of infrastructure by the city and county, and perhaps most importantly, by negotiating reduced pricing for highly desired, undeveloped property along I-85.

It seems like this is a win-win for everyone. So let’s get started, Salisbury/Rowan leaders. Your citizens are waiting on the bench.

Comments

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