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Would Lowe’s Be A Benefit or A Detriment?

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With the possible coming of a Lowe´s Home Improvement Store to Sonora expected by early 2006, local reaction is starting to come in.

JS West General Manager David May says healthy competition and customer loyalty will mean the local stores can do things that the big stores can´t do.

“We´re with the healthy competition… We definitely understand they have a place in the market and they have their own place,” said May.

May said yesterday he´s been competing for business against Lowes for approaching two decades now. He says having 800 stores means a certain sameness and local stores can offer more personalized service to customers.

“Their stores are pretty much cookie-cutter. Here at JS West, we´ve been in business for over a hundred years and we´re prepared to still continue to give that service and be aware that there´s things we have, that no one else has and that no one else will have. So we´ll always have customers coming back for those things and we´ll be here for them,” May explains.

And city administrator Greg Applegate says it´s possible the coming of Lowe´s will mean less business leaving the county.

“They know where people are coming from. And I´m sure over in Calaveras County now there´s a lot of leakage also going down to Home Depot or Lowe´s down in the valley. So, hopefully we´ll be able to capture and keep those dollars in the county ,” Applegate says.

He says he´s done a conservative estimate for 25 million dollars in annual sales at Lowe´s. That would mean 350 thousand in sales tax per year, including the recently-passed Measure I money which would go to the police, fire and public works departments of the city of Sonora.