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2 hours ago, BorninSparkleCity said:

I am newly returned to the area. Just wondering why Spartanburg doesn't have any "luxury brand" auto dealerships? I realize that Greenville has such dealerships, but they are not really convenient for service after the sale.

I was employed in the auto industry (for a major manufacturer, not a dealership) early in my career and worked in the department where the planning of dealerships locations and relocations were made.  The process of choosing dealer "points" is rather complex (akin to sausage making :tw_grin:) and too involved to for me to go into great detail here.  However, some  important factors are:

  • State dealer franchise laws 
  • Manufacturer franchise requirements
  • Vehicle registrations by market segment
  • Income levels and trends in a particular market
  • Growth potential and trends in a particular market
  • Finding a dealer investor

This may surprise you but state dealer franchise laws and finding a dealer investor are the two most critical and challenging considerations.  State franchise laws vary wildly from state to state and are often written in such a manner as to discourage, rather than encourage, new dealer points and relocations.  South Carolina's laws pertaining to locations and relocations were some of the more lenient in the country during my time but could have changed.  

Dealerships are extremely costly to operate, hence finding a dealer investor with deep pockets can be difficult.  That's why consumers are seeing more "chain" dealer operators rather than independent dealers, especially in metropolitan markets.  

Another recent factor is consumer buying behavor.  More and more car buyers prefer the online purchasing experience rather than visiting brick and mortar dealerships.  Dealerships aren't going away anytime soon but the need for a dealership in every market will probably diminish.  The auto company I worked for had more than 5,000 dealerships as late as 1980.  Recessions, retrenchment of dealer points, and others causes have resulted in this number dropping to around 3,000 today.  

Why doesn't Spartanburg have any luxury brand dealerships?   Its the factors I've mentioned above plain and simple.  As the market continues to expand luxury automakers and dealer investors will be looking at Spartanburg.  Hey, its possible that Spartanburg is already being looked at.   

 

 

 

Edited by roads-scholar
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2 hours ago, BorninSparkleCity said:

Do I remember some discussion of trying to land a Mast Store downtown years ago? Did that just fizzle out? Isn't there an entity/source/agency which offers incentives? And if not the Mast Store, a good equivalent...

I remember hearing about the possibility many years ago, but I don't know how hard it was pursued officially.  I believe energy was redirected into fostering local businesses, rather than attracting chains.  Honestly, The Local Hiker has most of what is available at Mast.  I don't think we necessarily need something like Mast anymore (and certainly don't need to use incentives for one, though they're welcome to come on their own).

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Actually the Local Hiker can't sniff the inventory and selection a Mast Store has and to even try and compare the 2 is embarrassing. I for one would be all in on a Mast Store even if it put Local Hiker out of business. The walk up traffic  it would invite and positive energy it would create would far outweigh anything Local Hiker could ever do. Honestly I came away depressed the last time I was in LH. I am somewhat surprised they are still in business.

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8 hours ago, Sparkleman said:

Actually the Local Hiker can't sniff the inventory and selection a Mast Store has and to even try and compare the 2 is embarrassing. I for one would be all in on a Mast Store even if it put Local Hiker out of business. The walk up traffic  it would invite and positive energy it would create would far outweigh anything Local Hiker could ever do. Honestly I came away depressed the last time I was in LH. I am somewhat surprised they are still in business.

I don't like Mast General.   Before they went "corporate" and "hip" and decided to set up in cool downtown areas they were a "destination" retailer in far away Valle Crucis, North Carolina.   There's nothing in their overpriced stores that would make me want to shop there s we anymore.  
 

Now the LH is exclusive to Spartanburg and has invested in this community.  Owners are usually onsite.  Nice quality products too.  

Edited by roads-scholar
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The Mast Store is owned by a family which is generous, moral and community-minded. The Valle Crucis  store is a National Historic Landmark. They have expanded but it just might be that their risk was to come to towns in the early stages of revival and contribute to the town's renewal. Their original tagline was they offered everything from "caskets to clothespins." (True. They had a pine box early on.)  My thought, by asking the original question in this thread, was to wonder about the expansion of a diversity products for purchase, especially unique and well-made (non-big box) clothing and iron ware and candy and crafts and toys. This incarnation of a general store offers such rich diversity.

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Yeah there were a lot of rumors floating around about Mast General maybe 7-8 (?) years ago that Mast was shopping around, and there's discussion of it in a thread on here somewhere. My recollection was that they couldn't find a space they liked. It's just as well - I think Mast is great but if every city has one then it isn't special. I'd rather wait for a shop that is unique to Spartanburg, or at least not in every tourist town in the Carolinas.

 

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Word is that Purpose Financial (formerly Advance America) is leaving Spartanburg later this year for Greenville.   You may have seen recently where Johnson Development purchased Purpose's North Church Street headquarters building and plans to market it to new tenants.  
 

If this is true, I don't see it as a huge loss. Purpose Financial has been scaling down headcount for several years now and their pernicious business model is not one we can brag about.  
 

I also suspect consumer protection advocates  around the country may be pressuring state legislatures to reform the payday lending industry now.  
 

The way I look at it, Greenville's gain is Spartanburg's gain.   

Edited by roads-scholar
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On 1/26/2022 at 7:47 PM, roads-scholar said:

Word is that Purpose Financial (formerly Advance America) is leaving Spartanburg later this year for Greenville.   You may have seen recently where Johnson Development purchased Purpose's North Church Street headquarters building and plans to market it to new tenants.  
 

If this is true, I don't see it as a huge loss. Purpose Financial has been scaling down headcount for several years now and their pernicious business model is not one we can brag about.  
 

I also suspect consumer protection advocates  around the country may be pressuring state legislatures to reform the payday lending industry now.  
 

The way I look at it, Greenville's gain is Spartanburg's gain.   

I saw that purchase and figured something like that was happening. I hope they can make some tactful renovations and open up some office space since we seem to be running low these days.

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On 1/26/2022 at 7:47 PM, roads-scholar said:

Word is that Purpose Financial (formerly Advance America) is leaving Spartanburg later this year for Greenville.   You may have seen recently where Johnson Development purchased Purpose's North Church Street headquarters building and plans to market it to new tenants.  
 

If this is true, I don't see it as a huge loss. Purpose Financial has been scaling down headcount for several years now and their pernicious business model is not one we can brag about.  
 

I also suspect consumer protection advocates  around the country may be pressuring state legislatures to reform the payday lending industry now.  
 

The way I look at it, Greenville's gain is Spartanburg's gain.   

This is true. They will be relocating to the McClaren building currently under construction in downtown Greenville. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Diverging diamond interchange coming to I-85/Highway 290 interchange in Duncan. Construction to start in late June 2022. Two years for completion. $17.9 million. Palmetto Corp. is contractor.

Edited by gman430
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51 minutes ago, westsider28 said:

The Spartanburg County One Map (GIS) has newly updated satellite imagery (~Feb. 2022) for the whole county.

Looks to be fairly recent - by looking at the vegetation maybe around March.

A few things I notice:

  • The big solar panel array near Arcadia has expanded.
  • The number of red clay areas cleared for residential development is striking.
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