The Telegraph Poll: Should the Dollar General be built in Chester, will you shop there?

Filed Under: CommentaryDollar GeneralThe Telegraph Poll

About the Author:

RSSComments (18)

Leave a Reply | Trackback URL

  1. Ron Patch says:

    Kathy, it was your original post I commented about. You said you were thinking of selling or renting to Section 8.
    Now you say I’m telling second homeowners to sell. That’s not at all what I said. You raised the issue of selling, not me. All I said was sell it, you seem to think your moving would be a loss to the town. Again not true. If you or I were to move today, the town would be just fine without us.

  2. Kathy says:

    Would you rather see our town send profits out-of-state than keep the money local?
    Would you prefer second homeowners — from whom many of your neighbors make money — leave? No more house-minding, plumbing, carpentry, electric, plowing, yard work, critter control, etc.

    When second homeowners leave and are replaced with year-round, full-time residents who fully utilize the services that our taxes pay for (which second homeowners don’t use) will you find yourself eventually paying more?

    I don’t know what records you do/don’t have access to as a historian for Chester. Is there anyway of looking into the past records and seeing how our town managed when there was a loss of local business?

    Between this extended ‘economic recovery’ and the havoc wreaked by Tropical Storm Irene and the mild winter, so many Vermont businesses and citizens are feeling the pain. Would you really want to inflict more pain by condemning locally owned businesses by accepting a Dollar General and telling second homeowners to sell?

  3. Ron Patch says:

    Kathy, sell it. Another person from out of state will buy it.

  4. Here is the problem. For 30 years, we as a nation have become impatient. We want everything now. And we want it cheap. Thirty years ago I began cutting my “consultant” teeth, and one of the phrases we used back then, which is still very true today, is this: “Good, Fast, Cheap – Pick TWO.” We demand fast and cheap, so we get crap. If we didn’t follow the goat to the slaughterhouse, smaller businesses could carry all those things we think we need the box store for because they would have more customers and could afford the shelf space. And if the stuff was flying off the shelf and they had to increase their quantities, the prices would be lower. That is how the “Free Market” is supposed to work. Dollar General is just another corporation that is more interested in the bottom line. That is not capitalism. That is just plain greed. And greed is never, ever, good.

  5. As someone who looks forward to the “World of Star Trek” and the “focus on making ourselves better” sort of lifestyle of the 23rd century, I think you have a skewed view of “progress.” First, not all “change” is good. I am an agent of change (social media marketing, bleeding edge programming and computer systems … yes, I have been known to shake things up), But change for the sake of change is never a good thing. The inspiration for change and its main foundation has to be something better when you are done. A Dollar General is not better. The only change it will bring is more traffic, less people to support the local businesses that have been here for decades or more and the ‘ick’ factor that is readily apparent everywhere else they show up. I moved to Vermont precisely because of what it is – small towns, lots of green community-based businesses and a sense of “living,” not just surviving.

    I’m a flatlander, and I approve this message.

  6. Katherine says:

    I was surprised to see someone say that it is snobbery to not want the Dollar General in Chester. Chester makes a fair bit of its money appealing to visitors who come here because of its vintage small-town America appeal, interesting shops/galleries, bookstores, Lisai’s and inns. Without those often-maligned visitors, Chester would have a hard time surviving. Most of us who have moved here from other places did so because of the wonderful people here, the slightly slower pace, the natural beauty and to some extent the “quaint” factor. We have invested our lives and savings in a community that appeared to want to temper “progress” with common sense. We don’t allow billboards to clutter the view, we restrict the advance of big box stores and fast-food outlets. Why would it be surprising to not want a corporate entity with no ties to the area to move in and compete with the existing businesses that are an integral part of the community? It is true that we all drive to get our large quantities of paper goods and other things that Lisai’s doesn’t carry. Generally I combine those shopping trips with numerous errands for things I never expected to get in our small community in the first place. If you don’t want to live in a rural community, don’t. If you do, expect to have to drive a few miles to the Dollar Store.

  7. Angela Farrar says:

    There are two “dollar stores” and a Rite Aid with similar junk less than 10 miles away. Why does our beautiful quaint village need one too? How about a country emporium instead? With high quality American made goods. I don’t shop at the dollar stores now, so I’m certainly not going to start just because there’s one in Chester.

    On the few occasions that I’ve needed something quickly that wasn’t available at what I consider to be a locally owned store (i.e. Lisai’s, the Co-op, etc.) – I’ve attempted to go to any one of the dollar stores and have always come back out empty-handed because they A) didn’t have it or B) what they had was crap. Does Chester really want to stoop to this level? I think not.

  8. Catherine says:

    I would be far more concerned about Lisai’s losing business if another “Grocery Store” such as the former Gould’s Market were to open. Lisai’s will be just fine. Why is it so hard for many different businesses to co-exist?
    I am native to this town, care deeply about it, and am appalled to now live in a town full of such snobbery. If you don’t like Dollar General or any other business that comes to town, don’t patronize it. Simple as that.
    It’s funny to me that the same people who are vehemently opposed to Dollar General can be found shopping in the one in Springfield.

  9. Cynthia Prairie says:

    And here are two more people who voted “other.”

    If I was looking for a lead paint covered baby toy , then yes I would. 1 vote
    not likely 1 vote

  10. Joe says:

    I would bet many of us bulk shop at larger stores. My family does yet we “hit” Lisai’s at least three times a week if not more for fresh produce, meat, milk etc. The point being that if eventually Lisai’s does go out of business I can tell you I wouldn’t find cherry tomatoes at the Dollar store.
    Also out of shear principle, we teach our kids not to buy “LF” products — that is products that sit on shelves and as soon as they’re purchased are headed almost immediately to the “Landfill”. (VT is reaching max capacity in many of its landfills.) Have you been in a Dollar type store? The fumes of plastic and petroleum are almost unbearable. Furthermore most of the stuff there is either junk or junk food – great for our elderly and children. There are so many facets to this story.
    #1 Agreed that we can’t be selective on who we want in town. That was our fault as a community we didn’t have the foresight. (we do now)
    #2 Citizens have the freedom and right to shop at any store they want to. (As Americans).
    #3 The store sells crap. (My main reason for opposition) Anyone concerned about health, both environmental and physical, knows that store brings in toxic crap by the trailer-load. Why would I want that in my town? So to sum this up, some comments by others are correct: If our zoning allows a store then it’s allowed. If we don’t like “the Dollar” then we should convince our friends and neighbors not to shop there. I also think it is a cop-out to say one can’t figure out a way to drive or take a free bus to Springfield for their “Dollar store” cravings. I hope everyone makes better decisions down the road. Have a great summer. – Joe

  11. Scott says:

    The majority of people that I know shop at Lisai’s for their meat. I am for one that doesn’t do my weekly or bi-weekly grocery shopping at Lisai’s. I go to Market Basket or BJ’s. At times I will buy the paper products or something else they have instead of going to Springfield or Claremont to get one item. I do support the local business in town. I buy my gas in town. I go to Jiffy Mart. The Sunoco. I go to Chester Hardware. If Dollar General comes to town, I will shop there and still go to these other businesses. Do you Claudio and Kathy do the bulk of your shopping at Lisai’s or do you go elsewhere? I can get more for my money going elsewhere.
    Thanks Scott

  12. Claudio says:

    Scott, Kathy is right. But even more damaging is the impact of volume contracts that DG can leverage. For example, Lisai’s cost of purchasing – say – 20 bottles of soda a week — cannot compete with Dollar General’s purchasing 40 million bottles of the same soda, in the same period, at a very small fraction of Lisai’s cost. Numerous town businesses are threatened and may not last even a year. This has happened nationwide with small, century-old family grocers.

    Typical pattern: Big box store moves in, undercuts critical profit margin items, small businesses close, big box store closes. Empty hulk of town left.

    Have a look at documented impact studies on small towns such as Chester for a preview of our fate. Here is a summation:

    “The immediate concern was that they would put all the small hardware stores out of business. They were told not to worry. That competition would improve business for all, and that what they carried would not affect the small stores. In a matter of a few years, all the independent hardware stores in the area [were] out of business. They could not compete with inventory, price, and store hours.”

    Read more:


    The very underpinning of the way Chester-ites think about the Town’s future must be reconsidered.

  13. Cynthia Prairie says:

    These comments were entered by the four people who voted “other.”

    No, it will cheapen Chester.. 1 Vote

    No, I rarely shop at either of the $ Stores in Spfld. and won’t patronize here. 1 Vote

    Only would shop there out of necessity to avoid trip to
    Springfield 1 Vote

    Now, once or twice a year in Springfield, Chester? probably about the same. 1 Vote

  14. Paula Sargent Piper says:

    Oh such a small town of approx 3,500 mostly elderly population. I think the town of Chester can handle a small Dollar General store that will enable these elderly people and young families the chance to purchase quick needed items here in town versus running all the way to Springfield or Claremont. Rural stores are a much needed item now. Less travel, less money spent on gas therefore more environmentally friendly. Voila. I for one am sick of having to travel major distances to get items I need. Dont be afraid of change, embrace it. Its not a strip club. Its a dollar general… I think we can handle it.

  15. Kathy says:

    Hi Scott,

    A market, such as Lisai’s makes its money off of the variety of items sold. Dollar General sells a number of the items that Lisai’s stocks.

    The current Dollar General ad lists a number of items that Lisai’s sells including — but not limited to — paper towels, coffee, pretzel snacks, drain cleaner, crackers, storage bags, soap, mustard, glass cleaner, soup, candy, cereal, nuts, laundry items, etc.

    What happens when people start buying these items at DG? Lisai’s sales fall off as they do comprise a portion of sales there. Reduced sales become reduced receipts, which means something has to be cut — a job for example.

    Lisai’s floor space is a fair portion of sundry items such as those listed above with a smaller area devoted to meat and produce. Why not ask Lonnie what sort of hurt DG could put on him selling the items they do?

  16. Scott says:

    How will Dollar General effect Lisai’s. Lisais has good food and great meat. I don’t see how this will make Lisai’s of Chester go out of business.

  17. Kathy says:

    Chester: Another Dollar Store town in Vermont you weren’t hoping to find.
    I am seriously considering selling my home — or renting it to Section 8 tenants who have children to place in the school. Communities with dollar stores tend to have higher percentages of Section 8, rundown Main Streets that can no longer attract businesses, and a host of social problems that often are found in low income areas.
    Welcome to your future Chester.

  18. Mary Donaldson says:

    I think this is the worst decision they could have made, I only hope the fight to appeal it works. If this town loses Lisai’s because of this corporate box store it will never, ever be the same. Shame on the three people of the DRB who voted yes to this business that is useless to our town (10 minutes to Springfield people) and damaging to existing businesses that actually CARE about the citizens of Chester.