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About DaltonGA

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  • Birthday 10/24/1966

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  1. DaltonGA


    I'm surprised no one has posted about this since the 2010 results were made available. The census placed Atlanta's 2010 population at a disappointingly low 420,003 and Fulton with 920,581 about 100k below official estimates. Even DeKalb, which had expected significantly slower growth than in the 90's, had a small gain from 665,865 to 691,893 about 50k below estimates. College Park and East Point showed significant declines after gains in the 90's. Cobb was pegged about 30k fewer than expected and Clayton about 20k lower. Previous census counts have been challenged, but rarely successfully. Whether or not the 2010 will be challenged by Atlanta and the core counties remain to be seen, but most officials are saying the Hispanic population was undercounted in the region, which would revise the statewide 96% increase to over 100% increase in Hispanic population.
  2. Most large retailers classify an A store as a large complete format that carries all assortments available to the retailers. For a department store this was traditionally the downtown flagship which largely disappeared, leaving the stores that anchor super regional malls such as Lenox and Mall of Georgia in this category. Typically this type store in located in metropolitan areas that exceed one million residents though some smaller metro can and do sustain stores of this category. Belk at SouthPark Mall in Charlotte would definitely be an A store for the chain, though I don't think Belk, Inc classifies their stores this way. JCPenney and Sear's used the A, B, C nomenclature and it came to be applied by retail observers and strategists as a generic term regarding store size, assortment, and market size. A large metro such as Atlanta can contain A, B, C stores depending on location, while smaller metros may be served by one or two stores fitting the A category and the majority of locations being B and C. Minor markets typically only support C size stores. B stores usually carry a broad but more limited assortment in a smaller store footprint than an A store-usually higher end merchandise is abbreviated or eliminated depending on demographics(and exclusivity contracts) and home furnishings is more limited. A and B store are usually two or more levels when referring to departments stores such as Belk, Dillard's, and Macy's and mass merchants such as Sear's and JCPenney. A C store is usually one level and focuses more on soft lines in the mid-range category and a decent selection of home furnishes limited to small appliances, fine china, etc. and very little in the way of electronics and furniture. A C store usually serves a neighborhood are a small city/town, os the lifestyle Orlando Belk and Avenue East and Avenue West Cobb County Belks would fall in this category. A D store would be very abbreviated, such as the Sears Brand Central or the old Sear's catalog stores before the elimination of the Sears Catalog. For Belk a store I would classify as a D store would serve the smallest markets in the Carolinas, often in a shopping center rather than a mall, the downtown Fuquay-Varina, NC store would fit this category for Belk, as one of the few remaining downtown store for Belk. An outcome of Belk's acquistion of Proffit's in particular and McRae's and Parisian occasionally, is a mall has ended up with 2 Belk stores, one occupied by Belk originally, and the other by Proffit's, McRae's, or Parisian. Belk in Rome, GA and Dalton, GA are examples of Belk and Proffit's being anchors in the same malls. Both the Belk and Proffit's would have been C stores, but by occupying two anchor spots, one Belk becoming say Belk Women's and Children's and the other becoming Belk Men's and Home, the Belk at those malls would be boosted to a B store grade, due to increased merchandise assortment and store square footage, but serve a market that would traditionally only have a C store due to population of the market. The merchandising of these stores is dead center mid-market with no high end aspirations, the Polo and Nautica offerings are generally the more popular affordable lines, but Docker's, Levi's, etc. form the bread and butter of the clothing assortment for men, leaving the comparisons to JCPenney and Kohl's and even Goody's understandable.
  3. Belk is the anomoly among mid-range department stores. It level of ranking can vary from market to market and even within a particular market. But remember they are distinctly southern in market scope-Branson, MO is the only store outside of what is traditionally recognized as the South, though in the past they were even in Indiana and had a bigger Maryland presence(a state that is traditionally Southern). Some of the variation come from the various partnerships which allowed the partners some leaway in store merchandising, serving many smaller towns that department stores generally bypassed, and W.H. Belk's philosophy that his stores catered to common people in the middle and working class sectors who could expect to buy better goods at affordable prices. Dillard's had somewhat developed similarly to Belk, but W.T. Dillard bought out the partners earlier when the business was smaller and began cultivating a single brand strategy. Dillard's still serves some smaller markets, but more and more Dillard's and Macy's seem to be more and more alike, which is a move upscale for Dillard's and downscale for Macy's(or at least the old legacy banners such as Rich's, Burdine's, and Marshall Fields). Dillard's downscaled many of the department stores it acquired and is moving to remedy that, Ivey's is the most glaring example. Belk on the other hand, has continued to serve small markets, medium markets and large markets. The consolidation of the company into a single entity in the 90's, seems to be paying off. They were able to adopt the Kohl's strategy of store layout to re-establish themselves in Atlanta and Orlando which positioned them well with a resurgent JCPenney. When the opportunity to expand with the purchase of Proffit's/McRae's from Saks came along, they were ready to return to markets they had abandoned while becoming more contemporary. Where there was overlap, they were able to use the overlap to expand their offerings, separating into Women's stores and Men's and Home stores. They still have some opportunities with the Parisian acquisition, as some of the fashion offerings may have been more upmarket than Belk carried outside of the SouthPark flagship. But Belk is a more comprehensive department store than Parisian, many of the Parisians are too small for Belk's merchandising strategy and the store appear cluttered. Town Center for example has had to expand to tenant locations in the Parisian/Belk wing. Many are commenting that Belk at Phipps Plaza is too small, which was never a problem that Parisian patrons saw as Parisian mainly focused on upscale clothing and accessories and little in the way of home furnishings that mid-range department stores carry. Belk at Northgate Mall, Chattanooga, inherited a tiny Miller Bros./Proffits location and utilizes the neighboring former Pier 1 for a Women's store and once again, part of the former Murphy, this time as a Home Store. An aside, Belk, opened in the former Murphy as Belk Women's, but the location was sold to Proffit's prior to Proffit's acquiring the Miller's/Hess's location in the mall, so the location returned to Belk with the Proffit's/McRae merger. What Belk seems to be doing is filling the department store void left behind with the Macy-izing and Dillard-ization of regional chains. As such, its stores fall more into the A-B-C and even D classifications while Dillard's and Macy's seem to be focusing on A and B stores and the C stores are in danger. Also, the "baggage" of C stores is more noticeable with Belk as such stores were called Lazarus, Horne's, Block's, Rich's, etc at pre-Macy's, Inc Federated while JB White, Gayfers, McAlpins, and others had those stores which Dillard's ultimately eliminated. I don't think it's a bad thing to have C stores if the market will sustain them, and Belk seems to be comfortable with that format. The Bon-Ton has preserved the regional chain approach in the Midwest and East, as well as the banners for now, and other chains such as Von Maur and Boscov's are filling those market gaps in their respective regions of operations. Considering that premium department stores such as Nordstrom and Neiman-Marcus are doing well at taking the higher end from the mid-market chains while Target and Wal-Mart are squeezing from below and JCPenney and Kohl's competing in the mid-range, Belk has maintained its position better than Macy's or Dillard's and the defunct holding companies they have absorbed over the last two decades had done. They have managed to consolidate, first the various Belk entites, and most recently Sak's southern group, without the financial strain that Macy's and Dillard's have seen.
  4. No, actually I don't think the 63 or so stores in Macy's Florida is enough to justify is existence as a separate division. The new Macy's Central is going to be roughly 250 stores as will Macy's East once Macy's North is added. Macy's West will be even larger with Macy's Northwest with over 270 stores. Also, Atlanta was the division headquarters for Federated's Central group which included Rich's, Lazarus, and Goldsmith's. Macy's was a separate division in Federated until 2003 when the regional chains were "hyphenated" into Rich's-Macy's, Burdine's-Macy's, Bon-Macy's, Lazarus-Macy's, and Goldsmith's-Macy's. At this point the old Macy's at Lenox, which was originally Davison's until 1985-86, was closed for conversion to Bloomingdale's while the Rich's became Rich's-Macy's until 2005 at which it became simply Macy's. Most industry observers say that Macy's Florida is the most profitible Macy's division which is why it wasn't merged into Macy's South while Macy's Midwest and Macy's North were underperforming in relation to Macy's South and Macy's East. I suspect tourism, particularly international visitors and international business benefits the Florida stores along with retirees who probably represent transplants from Macy's core eastern business, a group more conservative and more loyal to a long known store name as opposed to "newcomers" such as Target and Costco.
  5. At least for now Lenox will continue to be the flagship Macy's for the division as Macy's is consoldating Macy's South with Macy's Midwest into Macy's Central, keeping Atlanta as the division headquarter's. I actually hate this for St. Louis, as this was May's headquarters and Famous-Barr was as much a part of St. Louis as Rich's was for Atlanta. I still think Macy's Florida will eventually be merged into Macy's South, but Rich's and Burdine's long had a tradition of inter-corporate rivalry in Federated and actually represent what I think Macy's needs to strive to acheive by tailoring the department store to the market, not offering a one size from the cookie cutter fits all version of Macy's.
  6. The local telephone company sent out an information pack regarding the 762 area in 2006, but I am not aware of anyone having been assigned the area code yet. I would cellular phones to be assigned the AC first as Cellular providers buy up the entire block of exchange prefixes, which is roughly 10,000 possible numbers in the exchange. For example 706-260-xxxx and 706-847-xxxx represent AT&T/Cingular Wireless numbers, 706-313-xxxx Sprint PCS, 706-618-xxxx is a Verizon number for Dalton. Most of the area served by 706 had to adapt to 10-digit dialing before the 706 AC was created from the old 404 AC when it all of North Georgia and most of Middle Georgia. Residents in Catoosa, Dade, and Walker Counties were able to call Chattanooga/Hamilton County as a local call with only 7 digits until Tennessee's 423 AC began requiring 10-digit dialing. 404 is Georgia's original AC, once covering the entire state when Area Codes were introduced in the 1940's. The 912 AC came several years later and was applied to South Georgia. 706 was introduced in 1992, 770 in 1995, 678 in 1978, and in 2004 AC 912 was split into 229 for the SW and 478 for the region around Macon, with 912 being left for the Coast. 470 and 762 have yet to be assigned any numbers. BTW, area codes were assigned based on the amount of time it took to dial the Area Code on the old rotary phones. Originally the middle digit could only be a zero or a one, different numbers for the middle digit was enabled in the 90's. Back to rotary dialing, high density regions recieved the low area code numbers on the dial, 212,313, etc., low density areas received high numbers-912 for South Georgia, as it took time for the rotary to return from nine for the one to be dialed. Medium range numbers-404 for North and Middle Georgia originally and 615 for East and Middle Tennessee originally required a medium wait time for the rotary to return to position. Of course with touch tone dialing, such a convention was no longer necessary. I would have rather seen 706 divided than 762 be overlayed, as 706/762 cover a large geography. I think an east-west axis would have been the best. Augusta, Athens and Northeast Georgia in one of the two and Columbus, LaGrange, Rome, Dalton, and suburban Chattanooga receiving the other AC. It seems 912 was split with geographic orientation over the overlay plan. Overlay AC's seem best reserved for larger metros with several AC's such as the 404/678/470 and 770/678/470 overlays for metro Atlanta.
  7. The Census Bureau does occasionally defer to local opinion with metro areas. Several metros that were broken apart in 2003 have had some reuniting. The Tri- Cities of Tennessee were broken into three SMA's in 2003, Johnson City,TN; Kingsport-Bristol, TN and Bristol, VA. Kingsport-Bristol, TN and Bristol, VA were recombined. In the case of Greenville-Spartanburg, the Census Bureau did not even consider the two to be a CSA in 2003, instead having a Greenville-Anderson CSA and Spartanburg-Gaffney CSA only to recognize a CSA containing the Greenville and Spartanburg SMA's one year later. The Augusta-Richmond SMA should be renamed Augusta-Richmond-Aiken to reflect the role of Aiken as a distinct node of the Augusta urbanized area. There is a great deal of non-commute ties that should be applied in determining an metropolitan relationship-newspaper circulation, television station viewership, retail draw, etc. The August River Site was responsible for much of Richmond Co and Aiken Co. growth in the postwar era and most residents consider themselves part of greater Augusta.
  8. DaltonGA


    I feel that Publix is the most viable competition Kroger has had in Nashville in years. The FoodMax stores were initially strong, but as Bruno's struggled with internal problems after the mid-90's, they began a downward spiral and Albertson's never reversed the decline, I think they Albertson's never dedicated themselves to learning the Nashville market and build name recognition in the region, versus Kroger being well established in Middle Tennessee since the 1930's. H.G. Hills succeeds due to being recognized as the local chain, but doesn't have enough locations outside of Nashville-Davidson to benefit the suburbs. Red Food originall opened one of the Murfreesboro BiLo locations, as well as Tullahoma, Manchester, Columbia, Franklin, Lewisburg, and Lebanon stores and become the biggest alternative to Kroger in Middle Tennessee south of Nashville but BiLo's problems have virtually eliminated them from the picture. Harris-Teeter is simply to expensive for the average shopper and doesn't really offer much the competiton doesn't have for less, the distance of Nashville from the rest of Harris-Teeter's locations doesn't bode well for their long term prospects either. Food Lion fills in as a giant convenience strore in most areas rather than as the local grocer of choice. Publix is more expensive in many areas than Kroger, but generally has decent advertised prices, decent quality in deli-bakery, produce and other fresh areas but less selection than Kroger in general merchandise, over-the-counter meds, and health and beauty care items. But they are succeeding and growing in an environment were most other grocery chains are struggling against Wal-Mart Supercenters and specialty chains like Whole Foods, Trader Joes and Aldi. Kroger has fared reletively well also, but doesn't seem to be in expansion mode like Publix is.
  9. DaltonGA


    Out of curiosity, does anyone know why Publix didn't reopen the old Albertson's(nee FoodMax) in Murfreesboro when they took over the Nashville Albertson locations? I suspect the store was not doing very well or they felt it was not well located. The two BiLo locations aren't far away from the old Albertson's, so I suspect it was a volume issue. Another question, Publix and Harris-Teeter came to Atlanta at almost the same time. Harris-Teeter was a little more upscale and definitely pricier, which along with the distance between Atlanta and the North Carolina core market for Harris-Teeter resulted in their selling the Atlanta locations to Kroger. Has Publix caused a loss of business for Harris-Teeter or has their business mainly come at the expense of Kroger? Nashville is further from Harris-Teeters other stores than Atlanta was and I think they might not be in the area for much longer. I doubt Kroger would be able to buy Harris-Teeter in the Nashville market as Kroger already has over 40% of the share for grocery dollars and I doubt the courts would allow it. Harris-Teeter has been focusing on its Carolina markets and some in Virginia, and have closed one of their Jacksonville, FL locations, leaving two there. Charleston and Hilton Head are the only cities in South Carolina that Harris-Teeter still operates stores. In addtion to Kroger, Harris-Teeter and Publix I believe H.G. Hills and Food Lion have a lot of stores. Is anyone else in the area? It's my understanding that Publix intends to expand agressively in Nashville over the next few years. I believe Nashville and Birmingham may be more different than Atlanta and the Florida markets they are more familiar with.
  10. The census bureau has consistently underestimated the growth in metro Atlanta since the late-70's. I suspect when the 2010 census results are tabulated, Fulton and DeKalb in particular and Cobb will have a considerably greater population than the census estimates project beyond 2006. Doughtery, Muscogee and Richmond are also estimated to be declining and I think by 2010 Muscogee and Richmond both will surprise census demographers by posting increases, very small for Richmond and the largest gain for Muscogee since the 1960 census. I hope Doughtery will regain some of its losses, as recent as the early-80's, Albany was the fastest growing Georgia metro outside of Atlanta and Lee county has continued to grow at a rapid clip. Bibb has been a consistent slow gainer since 1960, and the 2006 estimates continue that pattern. The Macon region's population gains will continue to be fueled by Houston county and Warner Robins with Jones and Monroe posting solid gains. Another area the census has consistently underestimated is the counties bordering Alabama, which include Columbus-Muscogee. Carroll County and Harris County have been the only two the Census Bureau has estimated to be growing rapidly while Walker, Chattatooga, Dade, Floyd, Polk, Haralson, Heard, Troup and Muscogee has long been underestimated when compared to final census figures. Most of these won't be big gainers, but they will have added more than the bureau estimates. Dade, Haralson and Heard may even turn out to be solid growth. Kia will most certainly benefit Troup, Harris and Heard by 2010. Polk and Floyd are going to see more Atlanta spillover, increasing their growth rates. Rockmart in eastern Polk may well be suburban in the next decade. Walker is eventually going to pick up more growth as Catoosa County builds up. The Chicamauga bypass and 4 laning 27 along will GA 2 access to GA 193 and Flintstone/Chattanooga Valley will soon pick up steam and boom if Tennessee completes the proposed replacement of TN 17 which becomes GA 193 and the St. Elmo area of Chattanooga gentrifies.
  11. Huntsville does not have the metro population that Little Rock does and its is virtually midway between Nashville and Birmingham, two considerably larger metros than Huntsville and both are close enough that a lot of business and finance occurs in those two rather than Huntsville. Also, consider that Hunstville was a boomtown during the 50's and 60's thanks to the "Space Race" and NASA. It was surrounded by cotton mill villages in unincorporated Madison Co. that also bolstered the population when the boundaries were extended during the boom years. Much of Huntsville growth was horizontal and campus-like business parks are located near UA-Huntsville. Also, anyone stationed at Redstone Arsenal is included in the population of Huntsville. A later post mentions the downtown of Mobile being impressive and the city is the most important between Tampa Bay and New Orleans and downtown reflects that. Baldwin Co, AL was classified as part of the Mobile MSA until 2003 and is the second fastest growing county in Alabama. Also Pensacola, Ft Walton Bch and Panama City, FL are regionally attached to Mobile as is Pascagoula,MS and to a lesser extent Biloxi-Gulfport, MS, which have slightly stronger ties to New Orleans.
  12. DaltonGA


    Most desert areas, i.e. Phoenix and Las Vegas, are more densely settled due to the infrastructure being methodically expanded as areas fill to adjoining areas. In the Atlanta area, numerous competing local goverments has build infrastructure to lure growth resulting in the leapfrogging to new areas. It helps that the primarily utility needed is only electricity as septic tanks are often used rather than sewerage systems, and that results in less density. Public water is generally available in most outer metro Atlanta counties, though wells and springs can mitigate the necessity unlike the desert. So while the 500 sq. miles Phoenix covers is sprawling, its still densely settled in the suburban sense of no leapfrog development. Also, Atlanta hasn't made a significant annexation since 1953, and the western side of the city is outside the perimeter.
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