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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

How Happy Blacksburg Officials Must Be

Remember the effort put forth several years ago to keep Wal-Mart out of Blacksburg?

And remember how jubilant Blacksburg town council members were when they won their court case against America's favorite superstore and kept the Big W from locating within town limits?

Well, they surely can be happy.  They don't have a Wal-Mart to contend with.

Nor much of anything else, for that matter, as it turns out:
Books-A-Million at First and Main to close in 2 weeks
By Amanda Codispoti, Roanoke Times

Books-A-Million, the largest store at Blacksburg's troubled First & Main shopping center, is closing in two weeks.

The book seller will close its nearly 16,000-square-foot store Sept. 27, according to Sheryl Simeck, a spokeswoman for The Rappaport Companies, which manages and handles leasing for the shopping center.

With this latest closure, 40 percent of the 130,000-square-foot center will be vacant.

A Books-A-Million spokeswoman did not return phone calls Monday, so it's not clear why the store is closing. The Birmingham, Ala., book seller lost $2.9 million on sales of $106.4 million during the 13 weeks that ended July 30, the company reported Thursday. It earned $1.9 million during the same period of 2010.

The book store's closing is the latest chapter in the shopping center's struggles to attract and keep retailers. [link]
Of course, Blacksburg still has Virginia Tech.  And, if the trend continues, all it will have is Virginia Tech.

So happy the town leadership must be.

By the way, though Blacksburg is becoming a ghost town in part because of its hostility to business, Wal-Mart is doing just fine.  Record sales. Record earnings.  Eye popping operating income.  And, most important to the thousands and thousands of owners of Wal-Mart stock, a fabulous dividend payout per share.

Wal-Mart is livin' large.  Wish we could say the same about downtown Blacksburg.