Smaller businesses must react

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thursday was a remarkable day in the history of Franklin’s retail history.

Lowe’s, a 120,000-square-foot store with an incredibly high profile on Armory Drive in Franklin, held a grand opening Thursday morning.

The home improvement store becomes one of the largest stores in the city and the county.

It is, with obvious reasons, a historic event. City and county and state officials were on hand to participate in welcoming a major magnet of public interest and, as most of the speakers pointed out, a grand addition to the local tax base.

It is, with equally obvious reasons, that we are concerned about other businesses in the shadow of a national retail monolith.

Local hardware stores, appliance stores, remodeling stores are others in the line of competition are suddenly at risk.

And we worry about their survival. We do not minimize their contributions to the community for so many years.

Yet, we also believe in full-market competition, and are watchful of how businesses react and respond to changes in the economic landscape.

We certainly hope the local retailers can adapt and continue to serve their customers.

The opening of a major retailer does not, and should not, signal the end of a local business.

Adaptation and innovation go a long way to retaining a market share.

Many businesses were here first and have served the community well. Losing them would detract from our quality of life. We hope they find a way to stay a long time.