E-DEMOCRACY | St. Paul Central Corridor Marketing – PP City Hall Scoop

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by Steven Clift: I wonder what the nodes will be in St. Paul? Anyone here know more about this or have any advice for them? Steven Clift E-Democracy.org P.S. Geek on. The article mentions setting up Facebook pages and mini-websites for businesses … let me just say that Facebook Pages are NOT very effective at sustained contact but they are cheap. What you want at a minimum is a small biz website with a blog and *integrated e-mail subscribe option for updates* that auto-feeds a Facebook Page and Twitter account. I hope they use WordPress. Geek off. Caught my eye today:

For $1.2 million, Central Corridor marketing goes “MOD”

by Jenni Bowring: University Ave. needs some thoughtful, well-executed branding. Is this the answer? We’ll see.

What I *don’t* see addressed here, and perhaps this isn’t the forum, is a facelift for those businesses on University that sorely need one. Rainbow and Wal-Mart, I’m lookin’ at you! I drive out of the Hamline-Midway neighborhood to do my grocery shopping because Rainbow has seemingly given up on maintaining a clean, safe-feeling shopping experience. And I used to shop there faithfully, for years. Wal-Mart is its own worst enemy. I have given up wondering why other Wal-Marts are sparkling clean and pleasant to be in when ours is a nightmare on so many levels. It is because we’re in a neighborhood they don’t care about. So how can we keep our own residents’ dollars in our neighborhood if our anchor stores are a disaster, much less attract outside shoppers? And HOW will a new PR/marketing campaign fix this, exactly

by Tom Goldstein: If you’re shopping at Wal-Mart, your dollars aren’t staying in the local community anyway–regardless of whether the store is a pit like the Wal-Mart in the Midway or a nicer suburban version. Instead, the bulk of those dollars are funneled back to Bentonville, Arkansas, where Wal-Mart’s corporate octopus resides. For all the complaints people might have about Rainbow or Target, at least they are locally based, or in the case of Rainbow, with a significant corporate and retail presence in Minnesota (its parent company is in Milwaukee). Not to take away the validity of your concerns about these stores needing a facelift (I’d throw just about every store in Midway Center and Midway Marketplace into that category), but the fact that there is no local accountability for so many chain stores is probably as much a factor over their appearance as is the disdain they exhibit toward communities they perceive as economically challenged. If the Midway Wal-Mart had a complete makeover, I would still never shop there–barring some radical change in their corporate practices, which have been the subject of numerous articles and lawsuits over the years. Tom Goldstein (forced to view the ugly exterior of Wal-Mart every day out my front door)

by Stephanie Digby: Actually, Rainbow is owned by Roundy’s and Roundy’s is owned by a very large conglomerate. So, no different from Cub. So, not a local business. I did a fair amount of research when I wanted to contact Rainbow HQ about chronic overpricing (never underpriced and a pitched battle to get the correct price.) Stephanie Digby

See thread here.

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