What’s the purpose of the survey?

March 11th, 2015 by Ken

Opened my mail the other day and had a surprise.   Included in my City of Lacey water bill was a survey.   It wanted to know my retail preferences.

The survey wanted to know what restaurants  I would dine in if they were located in Lacey.   It wanted to know what shopping and entertainment services I would use if they were located in Lacey – – and it wanted my opinion on what types of retail categories or store brands were lacking in Lacey.

I had to think for a second.  What’s the purpose of the survey?   I know the City of Lacey has hired an economic development coordinator who is interested in helping the city gain more retail outlets.   Olympia is considering doing the same thing.

Is the city going to use the survey for informational purposes, or is it going to take the results to the various businesses and say “see, we want you in Lacey?”

I think the survey is too open-ended and too simple.

Most chain restaurants have an outlet in Lacey.   The only ones that don’t – – Olive Garden and Outback Steak House – – have one on the westside of Olympia.   I suppose we could ask for something like Morton’s – – but the market isn’t right for a high end steak house restaurant.

That’s the key – of course – – for any retail outlet.   The market has to be right.

Everyone wants a bookstore in Lacey – – but bookstores like Barnes and Noble and Borders are just barely hanging on.  The market is swinging against book stores.

And, as far as retail goes – – every woman is going to say they want a Nordstrom’s – -but that’s not going to happen.

What’s the purpose of the survey?

It’s the marketplace which determines which retail or restaurants locate in a particular area.

When it comes to Lacey – – we’re grouped with Olympia.  As much as I would like to think Lacey’s  special – – when it comes to the marketplace – – we’re grouped together.

Incidentally  – – we had a Nordstrom’s Place Two in Lacey for years.  It closed when is was no longer financially feasible to keep it open.

Go ahead- fill out the survey.  It can’t do any harm – – but I’m not convinced it will do any good either.


Posted in Business, Government, History, Informational, The Real News

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