Claremont Insider: Mercado Economy

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Mercado Economy

Tony Krickl of the Courier had an insightful piece last week on his CityBeat Blog. It is worth your reading. He covered the story of Tally for Men in the Village, with its perpetual "Clearance" signs, all designed to indicate a distressed business and opportunity for bargains bargains bargains.

Courier photo

The owner of Tally for Men got a majority of City Council (Mayor Calaycay, and councilmembers Yao and Pedroza) to overturn a Planning Commission decision and allow the perpetual outdoor display pictured above. Mayor Pro Tem Elderkin and rookie councilmember Schroeder couldn't go along with this outdoor sales gimmick, though they have had no trouble in the past few months rolling over for the Claremont Wednesdays/Claremont Family Festival which brings the look of the Guatemalan mercado to Claremont every week.

Susan Brunasso/Claremont Wednesdays image

Krickl wonders if we are becoming "Swap Meet Claremont": "We'll see if applications start pouring in for similar outdoor displays from other businesses. Hopefully, Claremont's Village doesn't begin to look like a swap meet instead of its current upscale look, " Krickl writes.

Susan Brunasso/Claremont Wednesdays image

Are we seeing a new strategy from the Chamber of Commerce and City business development types--those old marketing geniuses Aldrich and Parker and Ramos? A recognition that the brick and mortar stores can't be helped, and emphasis instead on rug-merchant strategies and blanket-on-the-sidewalk vendors of the Rambla.

Why, next thing you know, the Mayor himself will be hawking vendors' wares.

Staffer David Monroy of State Senator Bob Huff's office (left)
and Claremont Mayor Corey Calaycay (right)
hawk wares at Claremont Family Festival.
Susan Brunasso/Claremont Wednesdays image