Editorial

Leppinks corrals may show what’s ahead in these parts

ACHTUNG: This is not a “fair and balanced” article. It is an editorial by the editor.

The startling sight of a couple of shopping cart corrals during the first week of the arrival of the new grocery store Leppinks in Dorr  brings up a couple of issues — a slippery slope and Bob Dylan’s comment that “Money doesn’t talk, it swears.”

It should be duly noted that shopping cart corrals have been absent from the landscape of Wayland, Martin, Hopkins, Dorr and Moline. We rural folks might refer to them as “new-fangled contraptions”

And here they are, in the parking lot of Dick’s Market, witha local history of more than 65 years. Is this is sign of what is to come down the road? Are we truly unable to resist the inevitable changing of the times?

Though the corrals were conspicuous by their presence, a teen-age carry-out clerk told me it’s her understanding the youths will keep their jobs as personal escorts for customers approaching their cars.

This is where the slippery slope question comes in.

How long will Leppinks continue to provide jobs to these young people in the community? Will there come a time for downsizing them in favor of customers performing the service of transferring their purchased goods themselves and parking the carts in the corrals themselves?

I think it’s inevitable for Leppinks to go the same route as Meijer, Kroger, Family Fare and the like. It’s become commonplace on the Modern American landscape.

Self-service is nothing new. McDonald’s very skillfully encourages its in-house diners to bus their own tables and let’s not forget that long ago gas stations featured guys who would fill your tank, check your oil and even wash your windshield. Those were the days.

The business community, without a lot of fanfare, has persuaded the buying public to take over duties that formerly were performed by human beings in an effort to boost profits. The most recent example is self-serve checkouts that eliminate human cashiers, like at Wal-Mart and Meijer.

In the meantime, I hear, see and read comments from folks in this area who bemoan the inevitable loss of local small-town rural feeling of the communities in these parts, especially the assertions that “We moved here to get away from city life.”

Yet many of these same people will do business with the big box stores, the malls and big corporate entities 20 and 30 minutes away, all in the name of saving money, but at the expense of preserving that small town feel.

I’ll never forget my interview nine years ago with Jay L. Smith, last of the owners of a 105-year-old Wayland business, Smith Lumber & Coal, who said there were three reasons why he went belly up — Menard’s, Home Depot and Lowe’s.

Can his wisdom of the ages be applied here? We say what we want, but do nothing to make it so.

10 Comments

  • This coming from someone who publishes on the internet and cuts out the copywriters, proofreaders, printers and delivery people.

  • Focus people. David raises the horrific issue of shopping cart corrals and the demise of youthful employment. Got it so far? Good. Not election fraud, not masking in public schools, immigrants or taxes for the unwealthy. So let’s dissect the possible barbarous implications of grocery store cart corrals one issue at a time. First…cart corrals prevent the possibility of rural me(n)tal abuse by derelict shoppers who foist their perverse destruction of private private property on 1990’s Chrysler mini vans. Not exactly mass murder at a Kroger in Tennessee but hell, who knows? 2nd, SOMEBODY has to empty those corrals, risking life and limb to rescue those carts from the parking lot to the store entry. Could that be the avenging HS students from Wayland/Hopkins???? Ever visited former Dick’s during some bratwurst sale? People be crazed. Come on now, you know how careless some residents are when they see an able bodied Wayland/Hopkins 16 year old nicely ask how your day is going as they wheel your Hamburger helper to your rusty vehicle. Let’s do our part, how hard is it to help these young grocery cart entrepreneurs out by putting your cart IN the store in the first place? But I digress…if the negative economic progress of Dorr, Mi. is distasterously affected by the possible (but unlikely) unemployment of teen age grocery cart “survivors”, I am surely going to reevaluate my use of any grocery cart anywhere for the good of teen age mankind. Lord knows, none of us have other pressing issues to think of these days.

  • David
    Once again you kicked the “hornet’s nest” . Eventually the carry out person will be eliminated.
    The “Old Dorr” is slowly eroding from the ” home town ” atmosphere into the bustling future.
    Let’s think back at how few businesses have been able to make it in this township.
    The latest example is 5 Lakes Brewery. The “local patronage ” just wasn’t there. Now they are in a higher traffic area, and should prosper.
    Folks you can’t move out of the city and expect your “country businesses ” to maintain the lower prices of large franchises in the city. Believe it or not business needs to make a profit to continue. If you are not willing to pay a few cents to dollars more for a product or service. Instead you drive to the “Big stores” don’t expect many businesses to remain here..
    Our only salvation is there will always be a ” Dollar General ” in the area. We “old folks ” will be able to survive. We’ll just need help reading the expiration dates on the products we purchase.

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