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Comments

Rick

Generally speaking, if local businesses desire to keep our dollars here perhaps they should consider lowering prices. It is no secret that large ticket items are available cheaper in Texas and even Lafayette. The malls are bigger and one can save considerably by going there for major shopping. This has been going on for years.

A. Herbert

Thanks for this Hot Button. For those interested in supporting Local businesses and artists, check out this event:

"White Lights Night in MidTown"
This Thursday, December 4, from 6pm - 9pm.
Over 25 Locally Owned gift shops and boutiques will be draped in twinkling white Christmas lights, serve refreshments, and open their doors for shoppers to buy the finest and most unique gifts available in our region, many made by local artists and craftsman.
The gift shop at the Imperial Calcasieu Museum will feature the finest in locally-made crafts, as well as a viewing of the "Return of the Model Railroaders" exhibit, with a special opportunity to see pieces from the ICM's touring exhibit, "The Louisiana Story," photography from Elmore Morgan Sr.
Other participating shops include:
Frame House & Gallery, Stacey's Armoire, TeCi's, Paradise Florist, The Paper Place, Expressions, Bella Cose, La Grenouille, Vallier at Home, T-FIG, Once in a Blue Moon, Focal Point Antiques, The Perfect Gift, Louisiana Market, Honey Luv Lingerie, Jon Margeaux, Treasured Moments, Benchworks Fine Jewelers & Gifts, My Favorite Things, Rhinestone Runway, Cruella's, Accessory Zone, Emily's Childrens Store, Precious Gifts & Baskets.
S. Ryan to College Street, Hodges, Ryan & Ernest Streets.

bd

In Calcasieu patish the prevailing attitude of the merchants are that they are doing you a favor selling you their merchandise,thats why so many people go elsewhere.Merchants elsewhere are cheaper and they appreciate your business and they show it.

Just my thoughts

Would love to support local businesses IF they truly wanted my business. However, to shop locally means I am treated as though I am intruding on their socializing with co-workers, rants about the boss or personal cell phone conversations. Also, the tax dollars collected are not spent for the improvement or advancement of Lake Charles because the "good ole boys" don't want to see this area grow. I would rather spend my money where it is appreciated and wanted like Lafayette. The customer service is outstanding & ever notice how much more they have to offer their citizens with ONLY 8% sales tax.

Business Owner

Thank you for your comments, Jim, bringing attention to an age old problem in Lake Charles and southwest Louisiana. Three of the four comments above are a reflection of one half of the problem - the preference of many people to shop outside of the area for various reasons. Some are certainly justified. I have personally experienced the very poor service offered in many area stores - feeling as though I was an imposition by trying to do business with them, check out people talking on their cell phones while waiting on me or ranting about their working conditions, etc. I have, on occasion, voiced my opinion to the offending employee or to their manager, but usually I just don't go back.

However, being a business owner myself, I can tell you that there are many Lake area businesses that work hard to take care of their customers and make doing business with them a pleasure. Those businesses suffer from the public's perception that "all businesses are just out to get your money". We often find, when dealing with new customers, that we have to get past that hurdle with them before we can really help them, because they come in expecting to "get robbed" and are therefore on the defensive. Sometimes, no matter what we do or say, we just can't overcome that impression with many people.

I have shopped in Lafayette, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Beaumont, Houston, and further. I have run into poor service and poor attitudes in all of those cities as well, and I have also encountered exceptional service. The same holds true online.

The bottom line though is that when we spend our money outside of the area, we are only hurting ourselves in the long run. When we do business locally, we support the jobs of our friends and neighbors, and we keep our local economy healthy. Every time a business closes, people lose jobs, and that trickles down through the whole community.

As to the comments about things being cheaper outside of the area, my experience has been mixed. I also find many things to be more expensive in other cities than they are here. Price is only one part of the equation, and many things go into determining a selling price. All businesses are painfully aware that consumers are price sensitive, and being over priced will put a business out of business as quickly as being under priced. It is a very delicate balancing act to find a price that provides enough return to pay all of the overhead.

If you feel you aren't appreciated as a customer, speak up and let somebody who can do something about it know. If we all work together, we can build a stronger community and a stronger economy. And as you say, right now it is more important than ever.

Mom

I don't generally shop in LC for several reasons:

1) the poor selection - last season's clothing is insulting

2) the poor service - as stated above the employees treat me like I'm bothering them. If you want great service, in LC, you have to pay for it.

3) limited choice of stores - we have Dillards, Walmart, Target, Marshalls, Sears, JC Penney - I refuse to shop at Walmart because MY time is more important than standing in line for 30-45 mins to check out! I don't shop at Marshalls because it is last years stuff...Sears merchandise is generally cheap...Target selections are poor; that leaves Dillards and Penneys.

I rather go to Lafayette

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