The article“This Time for Sure” (Sept. 4), on the proposed Marina Center, notes that Home Depot Real Estate Manager Brian Cannard dismissed the belief that a new Home Depot will displace smaller stores, saying: “My sense is, they sharpen their pencils and figure out how to survive.” And Security National’s Randy Gans noted that “I can tell you that in the home improvement segment, there are no anticipated store closings.”

But there is only so much demand for home improvement products in Eureka and Humboldt County. Simply put, Home Depot will take a slice of that demand, which will reduce business at its competitors. Even if a new Home Depot does not result in the actual closure of existing businesses, it will likely lead to layoffs and business contraction. Some argue that this is the way the free market works, while others argue that we should protect traditional businesses from big box retailers and their deeper pockets (and thus lower costs).

Whatever the case, a new Home Depot will most certainly reduce sales at established business, in spite of the sharper pencils.

— David Narum, Arcata

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