In response to Mr. Bruce Abel's My Turn of July 1, I can understand the Juneau retailers' concerns in regards to the box stores coming into town. However, I would be a lot more loyal to Juneau stores if they would learn to serve their customers.
My Turn: Big box stores can hurt small towns
I have lately heard friends remark repeatedly that if only they could find a knowledgeable and willing clerk in the local stores, they would be happy to pay the local prices for items they need. The clerks I am encountering in person and by phone are either uninterested in assisting me with my needs, unable to understand what is needed due to a lack of experience, or plain caught up in socializing with their fellow (probably underpaid) clerks.
These occurrences have caused me to hope that maybe Home Depot would come into Juneau.
Mr. Abel should not let this temporary reprieve allow him to slip into complacency. As Internet ordering becomes easier and more convenient, he will lose more and more business over the coming months and years. He should not blame the big stores for his loss of revenue. Blame his lack of motivating his staff to learn how to serve customers.
He is in an ideal position to improve his service and compete successfully with whomever chooses to open a store in Juneau.