With the proposed creation of a new Petco store at Poulsbo’s College Marketplace, Little Norway’s big box boom circle is nearly complete. Since the much protested addition of Wal-Mart, everything from The Home Depot and GameStop to Starbucks and Taco del Mar have been added without much ballyhoo.
Wal-Mart was predicted as an economy killer as cases throughout the nation were cited of communities just like Poulsbo that had fallen to the corporate blade. Local business owners, however, proved to be quite adept at surviving.
The announcement of Petco in Poulsbo — something that many might think would have local pet store owners on Red Alert and evaluating possible doomsday scenarios — was met with more of an initial shock, a shrug and finally a bring-’em-on response.
Small business owners after all, know their clientele better than just about anyone. Local pet store owners know this all too well and have adapted to everything from market fluctuations to big box stores in Silverdale over the years without much incident. Seeing this, it’s difficult not to wonder whether the big boxes are indeed eroding the groundwork laid so carefully by our area’s mom and pop businesses.
The attitude of the latter is as clear as the actions being taken.
Customer service is key and as long as smaller operations maintain quality products and an unmatched personal touch, they’re not going anywhere.
No doubt, the business climate here in North Kitsap is altering and while not all the changes are in favor of mom and pops, not all of them — fortunately — are business killers, either.