Wait and see on Super Wal-Mart
Retailers in the downtown commercial section of Storm Lake are relatively unfazed by the future addition of a Super Wal-Mart to the city's landscape, and are cautiously optimistic that the new store may help them by drawing in a larger crowd to the Storm Lake area.
Members of several Lake Avenue businesses spoke with the Pilot-Tribune about the affect the incoming superstore will have on the local business climate, and many, such as Omni Photo owner Craig Sargent, said they are taking a wait-and-see approach on the subject.
"Until it's over and done with it's hard to say how it will affect downtown," Sargent said. "It will probably have some impact, but then again, it might help bring more people downtown if more people come to Storm Lake. I don't think anybody knows right now what the effect will be and if there will be an effect."
"I really don't know how the Super Wal-Mart will affect the downtown, because I've never been in a Super Wal-Mart, but I'd like to be an optimist and say that it will help bring in more people to the area and to downtown," Donna Garlock, a full-time employee of Berg's Jewelry, said. "We'll have to wait and see, but I hope it can have a positive effect on our downtown."
The current Wal-Mart discount store has been in its North Lake Avenue home for several years, and retailers such as Ressler Drug owner Mike Porsch said the presence of the chain in town will lessen the effect the new supercenter will have on the community.
"I don't think it's going to affect anything that we do, because we've already gone through that when the first Wal-Mart came into town," Porsch said. "I can't speak for other businesses, of course, but I don't think the Super Wal-Mart will have any additions that will affect us very much."
"I don't think it's going to affect us that much, because it's going to be the same thing except a little bit bigger," Sargent said. "We've already adjusted to it, so I don't think it will bother us that much."
Sargent also said the Lake Avenue district would work together to help strengthen the entire downtown district.
"We'll continue to work together," Sargent said. "That has been an ongoing thing to try to highlight the downtown part of Storm Lake anyway, and I think we're going to continue to try to do that. It's important for us to make sure people are aware of what we have to offer here in downtown."
The new Wal-Mart is planned for the northeast corner of the C-49 and North Lake intersection.