Saturday, January 17, 2009

Shopping in Rexburg STINKS

This is for all Rexburg-area merchants who wonder why a lot of folks in this area choose to shop in Idaho Falls, rather than patronizing local merchants:

You do not stock what we want.

I'm serious. Just today I went looking for a simple bookshelf for my daughter's room, one of those bookshelf-in-a-box deals. Nowhere to be found in town. In the past, we've gone on searches for popcorn poppers, non-Belgian waffle makers, a particular brand of fabric cleanser, baby wipes and a long, long list of other items that should be staples in local stores (we have a Wal-Mart and a Kmart, plus a bevy of other stores) but they're never in stock.

Sleds, for example. Don't bother buying them during the winter when there's actual snow on the ground. Can't be found. And when they are in the stores in mid-September when winter is only a ghastly shadow on the horizon, they have all but two varieties, and only six or seven of each.

Bottling supplies. At the peak of bottling season, when everyone has produce starting to ripen or rot in gardens and in kitchens, the local stores no longer carry bottles, lids, rings or anything else a person could use to preserve food. Nobody wants to overstock, it seems, but why do they chronically understock? It's like our big box stores are run as high school junior business club projects. Shelves are chronically understocked. I've been trying to buy microwave popcorn for TWO WEEKS now, and just today managed to get one box out of our local Wal-Mart.

Yes, they're picked over by students swarming into BYU-Idaho, but the students have been swarming into BYU-Idaho for five years now and our local stores STILL can't figure out that they need to stock more quantities of many items in order to meet demand. Now, coffee makers, in a county that brags of a population of about 98 percent LDS, they have in abundance. Figure that out.

Now, going to Idaho Falls doesn't solve every problem (in three years of searching,we've found only one non-Belgian waffle maker, and for some reason Michelle decided against it) but it typically solves most of them.

Rexburg, you brag about being half the size of Idaho Falls now, roughly in population and in size. But until we can get past the slow service to non-service in our local stores, people will continue going to Idaho Falls because they know they can find what they want there.

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