The other week I received a strange flyer in the mail outlining the premise that BevMo should not be allowed into the Menlo Park business community. It asked that we support local businesses by opposing the arrival of BevMo. The mailer was sent out from an anonymous source.
Why would I want to oppose the arrival of BevMo? According my mystery letter, there was something or other about keeping the business climate unique to Menlo Park.
But others, as pointed out in the Palo Alto Daily News, seem to think it’s just a cheap ploy to prevent competition from landing in Menlo Park. It was also indicated that the letter was indeed, sent out by local liqueur store owners.
No shame! I have to wonder how bad business is if they need to take this kind of anonymous measure? As it was put in the article, masking market competition as concern for a city’s well-being goes against the free market system.
This isn’t the 1st time that BevMo has been doused in trying to obtain a location in Menlo Park, but this time, they’re eying the space that Chili’s used to occupy over on El Camino Real. Remember, they left that space because according to lore, their landlord priced them out of there with a rent increase!
This isn’t the first time something like this has happened. Like noted, this is BevMo’s 2nd shot at trying to move into Menlo Park. Apparently in recent time, there was a similar styled anonymous letter sent out in defense of a large chain grocer moving in. This letter was sent out by a grocery workers’ union rep.
Strange pattern developing, if I do say so myself.
I don’t see BevMo as a threat. I see it as a place that will provide more affordable products to those residents who just can’t quite muster up some of the sticker prices we see in the windows of downtown Menlo Park. The folk that show at Draeger’s won’t flock over there, nor do I see the folk that shop at other specialty stores on Santa Cruz in the downtown section flocking to the new liqueur outlet. There are different mindsets in regard to the market share each business within the town may have.
In fact, I’m thinking that if BevMo attracts more folks this way, they may just stay a while and visit Jeffrey’s, or Big 5, Staples or Safeway across the street or any number of the businesses that are already in that strip mall that they’re looking at. And the parking and traffic patterns are already established and don’t seem to be a factor to me. There are a number of businesses that can benefit from a large chain superstore sitting in their midst, as well as a number of residents that might appreciate this new business.
That is, if their application makes it past the August 23rd Planning Commission hearing. Cross your fingers for some sensible decisions.