Saturday, August 25, 2007
SWAC area to get Target & Kohl's
The westend of Waynesboro has become quite the retail center with lots of stores that have located there the past 2-3 years: WalMart, Lowe's, Home Depot, Starbucks, Applebee's, Ruby Tuesday's, Cracker Barrell, Best Western Conference Center, and of course my favorite, South River Restaurant, plus many other stores and restaurants.
Former Waynesboro City Council member Reo Hatfield had much to do with building up that end of town and helping to lure in "box store" businesses which, apparently, are appreciated by shoppers in the area. That area bustles and adds nicely to the tax base for the city.
What I am waiting for is the new Target and Kohl's being built at the old Outlet Mall site across I-64 from the other stores. Took a drive by there this evening to check it out and the Target is coming right along as well as Michael's Crafts and PetSmart. Rumors are there may be an Olive Garden Restaurant ... time will tell.
WalMart in Staunton must be worried about Target because they recently began a huge interior renovation that one clerk said would be finished in March. It is a mess right now but I suppose the end product will be good. It looked to me that their business fell off when the WalMart opened in Waynesboro.
Meanwhile, ever since the Waynesboro Lowe's opened the one in Staunton seems to be lagging in customers. Maybe I don't shop at the busy times; perhaps they are doing fine. But that huge store just does not seem as busy as in the past.
Retail continues to build in Waynesboro while Staunton concentrates on the arts. They are losing the tax base retail would bring in ... but they are concentrating on tourist dollars to make up the difference.
The good news is both cities are rejuvenated and doing well.
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TBF to Staunton, it was never going to get the Kohl's or the Target. Those stores look for certain demographics and with Waynesboro/Stuarts Draft growing because of housing pressure from Charlottesville, that area fit the bill.
True enough. Waynesboro's new box stores also appear to be pulling consumers away from the already-established box stores in Staunton.
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