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mmcroberts

Kentwood/Gaines Township losing restaurants?

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For the past three years my wife and I have lived at the corner of 60th St and Kalamazoo, right at the Kentwood/Gaines Township border. In that time M6 has opened up and the area around us has blossomed with additional retail. However...

I'm not sure if anyone here has any insight, but my wife and I were quite surprised to find that in the last 2-3 weeks, two of our favorite local eating places have quite suddenly closed up. Both Cafe on the Corner--a sandwich/coffee/doughnuts/ice cream place--and Joey's Seafood have just unexpectedly shuttered their doors. This came as a particular surprise to us as both seemed to be fairly busy on a regular basis.

There's always the possibility that rents had gone up suddenly, or that we were drastically wrong in how popular the places were.

I wonder, though, if there's a deeper problem here in that the burgeoning of retail along the M6 corridor is happening at a pace beyond what is currently sustainable. The first casualties are in the very competitive restaurant sector in which for the average suburbanite, known chain restaurants have a de facto advantage (e.g. "let's go to Applebees; I think I'll have the fish and chips" versus "Let's go to Joey's Seafood for fish and chips").

Just a few musings. Any insight would be appreciated.

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There's actually an article in the Press today about how skyrocketing gas prices are hitting retailers and restaurants pretty hard. Dining out is one of the first casualties of less discretionary income:

http://www.mlive.com/business/grpress/inde....xml&coll=6

I'm sure the addition of new restaurants along M-6 doesn't help either. Don't underestimate the the love of cookie-cutter JohnnyO'Chili-Bees.

FWIW: If it makes anyone feel better, Wal-Mart had their worst monthly sales report in 27 years, and they are saying they believe it's mainly due to high gas prices.

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FWIW: If it makes anyone feel better, Wal-Mart had their worst monthly sales report in 27 years, and they are saying they believe it's mainly due to high gas prices.

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%7Boption%7DHopefully Wal-Mart's greed will be the very thing that puts them out of business.

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If Wally-World's decline is fast and hard. I'd say let Wal-Mart decline but in a painfully slow fashion. That way the the job market with be able to absorb exiting wally world smock wearer a little bit at a time instead of all at once.

Regardless of whether or not you like Walmart would this really be a good thing? I can't even imagine the fallout in terms of job-loss if this happens.

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I'm not sure if anyone here has any insight, but my wife and I were quite surprised to find that in the last 2-3 weeks, two of our favorite local eating places have quite suddenly closed up. Both Cafe on the Corner--a sandwich/coffee/doughnuts/ice cream place--and Joey's Seafood have just unexpectedly shuttered their doors. This came as a particular surprise to us as both seemed to be fairly busy on a regular basis.

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I noticed the Rio Grande Steakhouse on 60th west of Kazoo was closed also.

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Number of people frequenting a place doesn't always equal good business. It really all depends on what those people are ordering and how much a business is making off each customer. A restaurant could be completely full but if every single table is only ordering one dish to split between the two and drinking water than the store isn't probably making any money whatsoever.

My father has been involved in the restaurant business for years and most middle class restaurants....your Red Robins, Perkins, Bob Evans, and a like depend heavily on beverage sales such as pop. So really you can a frequent a business all you want but if you are constantly couponing and getting water, than you really aren't helping them out that much. In tight fiscal times like these many people have had to cut back. Mind you, I'm not criticizing people for being thrifty or tight with their money, it is just the economic times in which we live here in Michigan. Even if you don't factor in high gas prices, there are still many people who aren't as well off as they could be or used to be.

There is also always the chance of an oversaturation of a market as well which is a fairly common occurence in rapid growth commercial areas.

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Regardless of whether or not you like Walmart would this really be a good thing? I can't even imagine the fallout in terms of job-loss if this happens.

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If Walmart suddenly became extinct, eventually the former clerks and managers of wallyworld in the small towns and cities they lived in would start up small businesses and retail shoppes all over again.

Or Meijer/Target/K-mart will pick up the ashes left behind.

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I noticed the Rio Grande Steakhouse on 60th west of Kazoo was closed also.

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In the same strip as Joey's Seafood, the place called "Nothing but Noodles" also closed this year.

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One aspect to remember about any business. Its not just the profits it makes that keeps it alive. Its also how well the business is managed. Poorly managed businesses stands a good chance of going belly up before a more property and tenaciously managed business. Granted their are exceptions to that rule of thumb of course. However, I hope Michigan's iffy economy is doing a better job of taking out more bad apples than good ones.

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Or Meijer/Target/K-mart will pick up the ashes left behind.

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...

Also, don't think that Wal-Mart is the only one hurting...they just happen to be the one company that every single big-business analyst keeps their eyes on. Unfortunately, my guess is that Meijers isn't fairing all that much better in these hard times, especially since they are only located in the upper mid-west (perhaps the hardest hit of area of a hard hit economy). Just an assumption on my part, and I hope that I'm incorrect.

...

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I would be reluctant about saying Meijer has hit hard times. Most of that company's problems was dealt with back in the late 90's through 2003 or so. This has resulted in a more efficient operation, a top to bottom image make over, the latest store format, and an aggressive growth plan of several stores a year on top of an ongoing endeavor to renovate or replace all of its existing stores. Lastly, Meijer is executing plans to invest well over 400 million dollars in Michigan in the form of new stores and upgraded stores. I also believe there is a new distribution center in the works as well. Personally, I think Meijer as a company is in the best shape in its life right now. However the company's biggest challenge is dealing with Wal-Mart and Target. But if Meijer, just a humble little grocery chain at the time, can survive and prosper in the face of the A&P supermarket chain which was the Wal-Mart of its day, then Meijer stands a good chance of still being here long after Wally-World crashes and burns. All Meijer has to do is keep a cool head and stick to its guns.

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Sweet! Look forward to hearing about it.

Yesterday's Freep had a special Michigan travel section (content developed in-house) focusing on places and stuff of interest to SE Mich. Fred had a big ad listing some of their investments, numbers of jobs, etc. etc.

Will pull it out of the blue bin and transcribe some highlights.

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