Paracom paramount to Cornwall Ontario growth for 2011? October 10, 2010

Cornwall ON – Paracom paramount to Cornwall Ontario growth?    The big box stores are coming to Cornwall Ontario and sooner than many think.   Paracom Realty Corporation is developing a chunk of land across from Cornwall Toyota on the corner of Brookdale and Tollgate.

Launch date on the site is 2009/10, but like many new projects those dates can be fluid.   So far the anchor stores seem to be Boston Pizza and Future Shop.   Other stores mentioned for the mall would be Michaels.

We’d love to hear from store operators.   Would you move to Cornwall?   Are you a store in another part of Cornwall and would you want to move to a new space like this or do Big Box stores cause you concern?  You can post your comments below.

With Walmart expanding in their space and stores emptying out as their leases end such as Food Basics, Mark’s Work Wearhouse, and the LCBO is Cornwall about to see an explosion of retail growth and retail jobs?

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  1. Well it all depends.

    If Marks Work Wearhouse, LCBO and Food Basics close, it’s less jobs. New retail stores operating plus Wal-Mart expanding replace those jobs, so it’s only a standstill, not growth.

    If these stores relocate and new stores open and Wal-Mart expands, then yes, there is some growth.

    I guess low-paying part-time jobs are better than no-jobs, but Cornwall needs more.

    Big box stores lead to companies lowering their wholesale prices, forcing manufacturer’s to cut jobs, salaries and benefits or relocate to third-world countries.

    They’ll bring some more business tax dollars to the city but they won’t draw people to Cornwall like a vibrant arts scene and unique community events would.

  2. I’m all for creating job opportunities for people in town (people need to, and SHOULD work), but bringing in even more big retail chains like this will hurt the local businesses that give Cornwall its character. I do understand that this is a chance for Cornwall to expand and draw more people in to boost the economy, but with having this complex built where it’s proposed, do you really think people are going to venture farther into Cornwall than they have to when everything is more or less on the outskirts and off the 401?

    I’ll use Lancaster as an example: prior to the construction of the McDonald’s/Esso, Tim Horton’s, and recently added Subway, (the Dairy Queen has been there for ages) on the south side of the overpass, people got off the highway and went into the village and explored the local restaurants and shops, supporting independent local business owners and services. Now with the big names built up, nobody turns North into the village anymore. Businesses are really suffering, and it’s sad to see a once prosperous small town turn into a ghost-town because it was decided to build up on the other side of the highway.

    Jobs and convenience at the expense of hurting a community isn’t a positive change. Cornwall should do a better job at promoting its independent businesses all around town instead.

  3. Who owns the land across the street? I am thinking a developer could put in a retirement village and market it in Toronto, it would be nice to get some money back from there! A bike / walking path to the Legion and I would consider it. LOL

  4. Could we please get a starbucks like brockville? I dont want to hear that Cornwall will not support a StarBucks. Putting it near the 401 will pull people off the highway. Please.

  5. Author

    We have a Starbucks at Navcan. And if you really want a rich amazing coffee try some of the locally roasted Coffey’s Coffee which has a local depot at Island Inket.

  6. God bless you Macbeth.

  7. Yes at Island Ink-Jet at 8 Third Street West you can purchase freshly roasted Coffeys Coffee in bulk/beans/ground or enjoy a cup of coffee or espresso/cappuccino in the Internet Cafe coffee bar. It’s a great place to meet your friends and the coffee is divine.

  8. woohoo… future shop..finally another store electronics… I hate staples..and the local stores usually have to order in stuff.

  9. This month I paid full price for a Kindle ($155.00) on because it isn’t sold in SD & G county. This month I purchased On The Road by Kerouac on line at ($14.95) because the book, although in print selling a hundred thousand copies a year, is not kept in stock by any store in SD & G county. The restaurants down town insist on serving the cheapest lowest coffee grounds available in Canada even though a better coffee would only cost three bucks a big can more, over two hundred cups of coffee – that’s why their places are empty while everyone is lining up at the Chains. As for camera film – far as I can tell there is only one film developing outlet in Cornwall and they only sell two kinds of film. I went to Henry’s in Ottawa and spent $75.00 on a variety of film – I was glad to see they will now provide me with mail order delivery. For the clerk at Brookdale who told me – they don’t make film anymore…don’t worry about me bothering you again.
    There is a message here. The message is that the small retailers don’t want my money or think I’m quite stupid. If we are smart enough to have money in our pockets we have access to the internet. Stop blaming the big box stores because you guys act like snobs or are stuck in a rut. I’m going to buy another Kindle in the Spring…is five months enough lead time? I hate spending my money out of town but I do freely. You can ignore Baby Boomer money all you want. You can laugh at us and call us old hippies and tell us stuff isn’t made any more. You do understand the humour is we are way way better educated than you and have lots more cash and way more connections than you could ever possibly imagine and will do so for many years to come. Grow up – stop blaming the big box, put salesmen on commission, there is no substitute for product knowledge.

  10. Author

    That’s a double edged Sword Rocket Roy. Maybe why some stores don’t have enough or better staff is competition from he Walmart’s of the world? If your store had say…..55% of a market share and then a big box store moved in and cut your share down to 15% it might impact how you could do business.

    In a city like Ottawa that sliver of business still might carry enough weight to keep a store in business, but in smaller cities it has a bigger impact.

    I agree with you though that to survive local businesses really need to focus more on taking care of their clients. For example the one thing I’m most proud of here a the Cornwall Free News is that during our first year we didn’t lose a single sponsor. They all resigned or upped their packages and many of them are still here today.

    For any business to thrive you have to offer good service; good value, and a strong relationship as that brings you more business. Maybe we need new blood in the Chamber of Commerce to help focus local business better on serving people like you because these Big Box stores, and they’re coming, are going to impact local established businesses.

    I know I’m encouraging more people to get involved in the Chamber and I myself will be running for their board in their next election as a proud member.

  11. Good coffee don’t come in cans!

  12. It was reported earlier this year something like 65% of us shop outside of Cornwall.
    I like shopping local and I like to haggle for prices so I like the Mom and Pop’s. A couple of months ago a flyer said window fan $24.95 on sale starting Friday. I show up Friday afternoon, sold out. Apparently they had a big rush on them and sold all four (that’s the count the Cashier told me) that morning. It was discontinued and they would not be getting any more so no rain checks! The flyer identified “limited quantity” items advertised in red ink, but this was not one of them!
    Basketball net, drill press, tires, trailer hitch, hockey sticks, lap top, printer ink, HDMI patch cord, remote control helicopter, electric toothbrush heads, assorted toiletry products, compressor, pneumatic nail gun, Books, Music (limited at Walmart and Zellars and anywhere else in town) and the list goes on and on. These are just some of the products I have tried to purchase from local businesses but not available in Cornwall. So you have to go out of town or go without.
    The Local Businesses here, seem to, in my experience carry more risk and therefore tend to carry less high end stock on their shelves. So every time I inquire I get the “well we don’t have it in stock but we could order you one”, sure if I don’t have to pay for it in advance, don’t know about any of you but before I spend hard earned money on something I like to test drive it first, not buy it from a picture out of a catalogue!
    Friend of mine purchased a big screen LCD TV for $4500. It’s like 55” or something or another and no it is not 3D. Might sound expensive but my friends TV would blow the socks off anything you have ever seen, but you would have to venture outside of Cornwall to see it as no stores here have a demo.
    Big box stores won’t hurt Cornwall’s overall economy, they employ people and many are owned by local business people. They bring in more competition more jobs and hence more choice. Big Box Stores like Future Shop can afford the risk of high end inventory that small business cannot. Why should we pay 10, 15, 25 percent more to a small independent they don’t pay their employees any more than minimum wage just like the Big Box.
    The magic of it is more of us will quit going out of town to spend money and will spend our money within the borders of Cornwall and this in itself will stimulate the local economy.
    Manufacturing Industry (better paying jobs) locate where they can convince upper management to move to and a City has to have a good commercial sector, or Industry will locate in one that does.
    I thought The Cornwall NIMBY association blocked all hope of decent shopping and competition in Cornwall when they blocked the new Wal-Mart and like it or not many of us shop elsewhere because of the lack of shopping here.
    I never figured living in Cornwall that shopping around would include Brockville, Ottawa, Montreal, Kingston, Alexandria and Prescott. For crying out loud Prescott!!!!

  13. How about a Chapters with a Starbucks inside? Could they drop a Chapters into the Pitt Street mall as part of the plan to balance box stores and local retailers? Would Chapters drive any traffic to the Pitt St Mall?

  14. Yeah, lets bring a Chapters and Starbucks here… Chapters can totally kill whatever is left of the book industry here in Cornwall for one… and of course, with everyone paying 150 bucks to walk their dogs, what money will they have left out of their low incomes to spend on books and 5 dollar coffee??

  15. Bob Generic, admin, annon and dearest Grim. May I rant here? May I be this special for a moment?

    You can’t instruct or allow your sales people to say, “Go to Ottawa to buy that.”
    Ok, here we go.
    1). Product knowledge. Generally speaking product knowledge is limited to knowing how much the product is and if it’s in stock. That’s not product knowledge. Product knowledge is being aware of what else is out there that might compete with what is being sold and being aware of its specifications whether you sell it or not. Product knowledge is not going to be instilled into an employee unless that employee is getting some commission of some kind. 2) “May I help you?” 80% of the time, the answer will be no. Standing there and staring at the customer doesn’t help. If you see someone examining a product your automatic interaction should be to start talking about the product and how it compares to whatever else is out there. May I help you, is so so lazy. Obviously if you had something to say that was helpful, people would listen. You don’t get that for minimum wage part time jobs that don’t pay holidays. This is partially a result of accountants taking over and owners not standing in their place of business. 3) I ask you to please open the package so I can read the instructions. You reply, “We can’t do that.” Good by. 4) I make a big pile of merchandise on the counter that adds up to $200.00 and I say, “Why don’t you drop the price by three bucks so I can feel I got a deal?” You reply, “I can’t do that.” Are you crazy? 5) Don’t ever say, ” They don’t make that any more.” Everything is made, source it or shut up. We aren’t old fools. Ok?

    The view and fear that many people seem to have regarding Cornwall advertising towards and trying to attract the old age crowd is that we are a doddering old senile bunch who are going to drive the region’s medical costs up. This is erroneous. The health of the average 60 year old new comer to Cornwall is far higher than the health of the average 30 year old from Cornwall as is the educational background. Remember, we made it somewhere else and are now bringing it here. This will bring additional political cleavage in both the Federal and Municipal arena as time goes on. PS The Cornwall Library is fantastic and great. Don’t change a thing. It’s working. Leave it alone.

    Now – we aren’t going to eat that murder you’ve been pushing on the folks here. Poutine, pizza, deep fried crap, frozen bag veggies, low quality cooking oil. Are you kidding? We plan on collecting pensions for a long time. Don’t you want us to spend money here for a long time? Do you understand the price difference between pouring canola oil on someone’s salad and adding a number one grade virgin olive oil is about a nickle? We do because we aren’t STUPID. Do you understand that the difference between a high grade coffee and a low grade coffee over 300 cups a can is about a nickle? What the hell is edible cream? Do you have a bylaw in town that says you can’t provide brown sugar on the table? Alfalfa sprouts, avocado, sweet potato, hot plates for hot meals, cold plates for cold meals.
    Our bills are paid and we have a grand a month to blow and it’ll be that way for decades to come. We are not the old folks of yesterday. This was actually meant to help somewhat. Don’t take it as a blast.

  16. Chapters is an affiliate of Coles. Chapters has better service and stock.

    Starbucks, well it’s about time we get something then Tim Hortons slush. Guess I’ll walk my dog on the street cuz Star Bucks makes a much better cup of coffee

  17. Admin, when running for the Chamber, perhaps your plank could be education. The Retail Council of Canada has some education, even on line to start the ball rolling.

    RR, I too am in that special age group and have walked out of stores becuae of bad help. I even remember one older clerk who was working at a hardware shop trying to sell me the wrong oil for my chainsaw. I blame management no matter the age of the server.

  18. Just walk into Staples. Very little knowledge from employee’s.

  19. Here is another example of the level of service that seems to be the norm in Cornwall. Today at a local retailer, I stopped in hopes of getting a demo of the new Sharp aquos TV the one with the yellow injection. The display was there and a demo BRD showing high def pictures of flowers etc. I wanted to see some action from a blue ray movie as I don’t often sit around my living room with my family looking at pictures of the surf, vased flowers or canyons.
    When asked a salesperson could not find a Blue ray disc to give a proper demo. The salesperson finally, after a hard search found a standard def disc of the newest Indiana Jones movie. Hardly the format we needed to assess this TV but I was willing to see what an upconverted DVD looked like. When asked where the remote was so we could skip by the credits and just view some moving pictures “I am not sure where it is, they don’t leave it out”. So after 10 minutes of credits all the time having a salesperson that knew nothing of the TV hovering over us (actual was honest and said she probably new less about it than me) so we booked out of there as it was becoming painful and I don’t think anyone should need the patients of a Saint when prepared to spend 4 grand in your store
    So again I am in the market to purchase a substantial piece of merchandise and it appears I will have to go out of town to see it.
    If that is the case I will probably purchase it at the store that can give me the demo and information I ask for and there is a good chance it will be out of town.

  20. Willie, did you say Staples? Try Future Shop, and then tell me if you notice a difference.

  21. For TVs try audiotronic. They automatically matched the best price advertised without being asked and I got great deal for my TV.

  22. I wasn’t knocking Cornwall, Bobgeneric. People are coming here because it’s such a wonderful and beautiful city. The problems I outlined exist in many cities. I don’t mind if I can’t get service or products. I would have in the past but I can just go click and get it delivered and probably for a few bucks less. But how often do you want me to do that? It’s a great town. I can’t wait to vote five or six thousand times. How would you like me to vote? I tend to like lawyers and incumbents.

  23. How about a 3-D television sitting as the front and centre showpiece of the Source store in the Square …and no 3-D glasses available. “Broken for more than 2 months, we’re waiting for new ones.” I was told by staff.

    So the long and short of it is (that’s a 2-D expression) the person running the store has no concept of marketing or awareness of what that says about the product and support… or too lazy to put it out of sight.

  24. Do we need a Sports Experts to complement the new Benson Centre? Also would like to see a Home Sense or something like that in town.

  25. Not that I dislike shopping in Montreal or Ottawa but…. sometimes I just want to stay home! So…. Sports Experts would be great, so would Home Sense! A Chapters with Starbucks would be awesome (they have one in Belleville -Belleville’s population: 49,000 -Cornwall 45, 000- I do recall…) so no excuses! Second Cup has a nice atmosphere and tasty treats too, so perhaps a Second Cup could replace a few of the plentiful Tim Horton’s in Cornwall….. An Old Navy could cater to many of the young families in the area. Perhaps a Spring Shoes, Aldo or Shoe Warehouse somewhere too, Cornwall certainly requires more variety in the shoe department!

    I could care less about a Future Shop or the inevitable expansion of Wal-Mart. Soon Earth will be referred to as Wal-Mart! So, if you’re worried about the effects of big box stores on communities, how the hell did Wal-Mart open in Cornwall and why do so many people allow themselves to shop there? Is Wal-Mart not what inspired the onslaught of big box stores? Cornwall is just going to have to start to accept change. Change too is inevitable.


  26. I happen to love Walmart. One stop shopping at great prices. I cant wait until they expand and have groceries. Our grocery stores suck. Either they are basic or too expensive or the parking sucks. Cant wait for a Michaels, we have nothing here in Cornwall to compare to that.
    Remember when everyone, myself includes was so excited to see Home Depot coming? I dont shop there, its way too expensive. I dont think big box stores are anything new to Cornwall. I’m just old enough to remember a store on the Pitt street mall, it had a basement, I think it might have been called Peoples or it was a Zellers or something. I remember as a child I loved going shopping there with my mom. Also the old Canadian Tire on Pitt Street. Wasn’t that big box compared to mom and pop hardware stores? We’re talking 40 years ago.
    It’s 2010. It’s inevitable. We have to accept the things that we cannot change.

  27. I have had to shop for many years out of town to get the specific items I need. Underwater camera’s, crafts, certain books. I find them all in Ottawa. I have been talking for years to the Mayor and councillors of the city. I ask them one question. Why do I have to spend my money out of town, Why do I have to pay employees in another city. Why are we the only city not growing. What are you afraid of. The big box stores wont hurt our city. Does it hurt them when we go out of town and shop there. They say the city of Cornwall is open for business. Unless you have a crow bar, we arent open for nothing. Working with the planning department in this city is like working with the devil himself. Numerous people have shared their horror stories with me. It is up to council to correct this. Unfortunately even though there are some good people on council, many council members in most cities are made up of retired teachers who are not business people. If a city needs change,it is up to council to do it, if not, then the big box stores have to force and practically sue to get themselves developed in our city. This is a beautiful city and its a shame when all of my friends including myself “start” their Christmas shopping out of town. Why oh why Mayor Kilger can’t I start my shopping here. Oh and for the record. I went shopping in Syracus last weekend for the first time and I found a shirt there for $24.95. Black Friday special would make it $12.50. It was the same shirt I almost bought at a local mens store here in Cornwall for $85 the week before. I took a picture of it and showed it to the salesman when I was picked up my husbands dress shirts this week and he said,”well thats not fair, that means the salesmen who supplies us is over charging me because my cost on that shirt is $50. Well life isn’t fair is it. But who said it was.

  28. I would love to weigh in on this issue. First of all, yes big box stores do hurt cities. I grew up in a town about 40 mins outside Toronto, which when we moved there (I was 5, and am now 26) had the same size population as cornwall. Today that same “town” has a population of over 150, 000 and every square inch of green land is covered in big box stores. There are multiples of major stores such as Home depot, Canadian tire, Michaels and grocery stores. “Farmers markets” which use to supply locally grown foods now have to truck in foods (pointless as well as harmful in my opinion), local business which previously did very well have been run out of town due to an inability to compete between major retailers prices and consumer laziness (I want it all and I dont wanna get off my butt for it). Many of you will say oh well this is in the GTA, what do you expect? My point here is that should anyone decide to establish a commuter link to either Ottawa or Montreal (which is what happend when companies saw the growth of cheaper housing and amenities outside Toronto) then Cornwall with its low cost housing and big boxs stores may find itself in exactly the same position.

    For all of you moaning about the service you get, and that sales associates dont know their products thats a two fold problem. Yes it is on managment to make sure their employees know as much as possible, and provide resources for them to learn, however you also need to realize that with the lower prices and huge selection of the large chain stores comes a detachment from the real knowledge base. How do you expect every employee to know the details of 30 tvs? 50 cell phones, 300 accessories all listed using different brand specific terms? Your asking people who get paid by the hr, minimum wage, to do the job of a department of buyers. Its unrealistic and it is partly caused by consumers. As well, bartering or expecting a deal because you spend a large amount of money is unfortunately in the past. Remember most big stores do not give the power to discount items to employees at the store level. They have targets to meet and inventory to shift and your $3 over the thousands of people they see in a day adds up, and eats into their “low price” structure. Something has to give and unfortunely its often the service we all expect.

    If you want to encourage good service, product knowledge and independant decision making then only shop at stores which are locally owned with smaller inventory. But dont complain because you cant get the selection.

  29. Can we PLEASE Finally get a Home Sense in Cornwall???? I’m tired of always going to Ottawa. Winners here is fine for clothes, but they do not have the dishes, the lamps, and the decor galore that Home Sense has! I’m fed up with the limited choices in Cornwall. If you can’t find it at Wal Mart or Zellers, you’re out of luck. I don’t even BOTHER going to Cornwall square anymore. The frustration of trying to find a parking space isn’t worth it!

  30. I would much rather see a Costco than any other big box store.

  31. I don’t think that we have enough population to support a Costco store here in Cornwall.

  32. With a population of around 120,000 in SD&G, there is enough population if we can get people to stop cross border shopping.

  33. People will stop cross-border shopping when Canadian companies stop gouging us with everything! The people across the bridge are not gouged because they wouldn’t put up with it! Does that say something about “US”?

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