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This Walmart at Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive opened in April 2009. Neighboring retailers say the increase in expected customer traffic has not happened as planned.


Multidisciplinary 4 years ago

I can attest to dropping a lot of money into that end of town regularly now that it's there, and I live over 125 miles away. While I lived in Lawrence, and on the SW end of town, I really only used the Dillon's at that corner on occasion (as their check out help declined over the later years until I didn't like the experience), and the gas station, McD's. Rarely the other restaurants. That was a main intersection for our travels.

Now that the Walmart is there, when I come to town for a meeting, I'll stop to eat, stop there in town at some of the shops instead of more locally for me, as the selection is greater, and shop Walmart there, even taking my full grocery trip home using a cooler. Many months I put nearly as much money into the Lawrence retail tax base as I did when I lived here. And honestly, there have been times I planned to go to Walmart, thought of something Dillon's had that Walmart wouldn't, and ended up buying all my things at Dillon's, because I didn't want to shop both stores that day. So Dillon's got my $150 instead of Walmart...all because of one particular item, lol.

And, we just made a run up there, because Walmart has discontinued several items I buy regularly. We cleaned out both stores, down here too, and HyVee had a sale. When you have to drive that far, you stock up. While there, we thought of everything else we couldn't get here, and also bought in bulk. 12-20 of things that would keep. Many things at HyVee up there, just because of a Walmart run. I do plan to avoid the higher tax places, that's just silly.

Specialty/Novelty/Trendy stores have to recognize they chose to enter a dedicated type service, with a smaller customer base. Good luck with that in a smaller town like Lawrence. That's hard enough to keep afloat in a place like Lenexa with 6 digit more customers driving by daily. Ever drive by and see a new business going in and wish that somehow, you could have done a vulcan mind meld and let them know before they put all that money into's just not going to work? Then a year or less later you drive by and see, yes, they're closed all right.


George Lippencott 4 years ago

merrill (anonymous) says…

Well sir, if you and people like you had not messed with this the new store might have been open three to four years earlier. As it is, it opened right along with the downturn - wonder just how much that might have affected sales?

It was so nice of you to help those of us who live out here - you are building up a strong reservoir of trust (just the opposite.) Several of the merchants out here have suggested they planned on business earlier and now - who knows. The owner of the Herford House (now defunct) specifically told me that the cities actions in this matter contributed to their departure. I enjoyed them and now boycott downtown Lawrence because of their hand in what happened.

You people are crazy. You seem to think that the smart way to attract business is to punish in some form or another a bunch of your fellow citizens so they will do your bidding and enrich you. How about a Library annex out here for our convenience - you have one already!!!

You know I am told that a lot of your antics comes from the ownership of properties in the areas for which you advocate. Perhaps you should clarify that before you blog again demanding special treatment for “downtown”!!!

You are going to see this comment a lot until you do!!!


doesnotplaywellwithothers 4 years ago

Does not generate traffic? Tell that to my tenants. I develope Wal-Mart shadow centers thru out the Midwest. These retai centers are situated in Wal-Mart's parking lots and Wal-Mart's customers drive by my clients front door. These tenants survive with the exposure and traffic.These are what I call "value tenants", no GAPS or Saks.

While the retail sector has suffured a complete melt down my centers occupancy rates are in the high 90%.Even though I have had the most turn over I have ever had retailers answer my phone call when I have a vacancy.

While some surrounding retailers may not have seen increased sales they may not have suffered as much if the Wal-Mart had not opened. Drive around and see the many vacancies in non anchored (grocery stores). The commercial and jobmarket, except for t government employees, is in terrible shape.

The main complaint I hear, even from people who opposed the store, is that it is not big enough and does not have the selection of the south Wal-Mart.


Steven Gaudreau 4 years ago

The article should have included a bit on how the anti Wal Marters were wrong as well. The "traffic problems" caused by Wal Mart do not exist either.


JustNoticed 4 years ago

Thank you, Panstwetter, I wish I could see the dance you're performing right now with your shorts in a twist. I bet it's hilarious. Why is it so hard on you that you don't get to set the rules for what anything "actual" is? Fool.


Iwetmypants 4 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.


Dateable_Shelter_Dude 4 years ago

Does anyone know if there is good bus service to the Walmart from downtown?And is it very handy, I haven't tried it and would like an honest asessment.


bruno2 4 years ago

Count on Pop to contribute a complete non sequitor. Oops, the records stuck...


JustNoticed 4 years ago

Jesse, just FYI: Don't use "of" when what you mean is "have".

We come up with things like "would of" instead of "would have" because when we speak "would've" sounds just like the way we say "would of". But they're different - gotta pay attention.

thank you


lawrencechick 4 years ago

What neighbors? Arby's, McDonalds, KFC? There is no other retail over there.


sherbert 4 years ago

I disagree with the article. If the 6th ST Walmart wasn't there, I'd waste gas to go across town to the other Walmart and probably eat and do other shopping over there. Now I can stay closer to home and do those things in the NW area of town. Too bad they cut the size and it doesn't have as much to choose from as the other store though. I am thankful though for not having to drive across town as much now, gas is too expensive.


Roland Gunslinger 4 years ago

If it wasn't for the Wal-Mart at 6th and Waka I wouldn't of got my wife a massage at Massage Envy across the street from Wal-Mart. Wouldn't even of known it was there if not for visiting that Wal-Mart which brought me to that area.

So, in my case at least, it has brought in traffic to other retail businesses in the area.


Richard Heckler 4 years ago

it is imperative that communities conduct a market capacity studies to understand their market potential, before any vote can be taken on retail,residential or light industrial proposals.

Citizen taxpayers deserve to know how new development will impact property taxes,sales revenue and employment generated at other businesses in the community.

All new development is often mistaken for economic development when instead it could easily be promoting economic displacement instead of economic growth. Generally the people it affects the most are least likely to understand it.

Could this be a reason for our extraordinarily high taxes? Could this be a reason we might become the most expensive place to live and do business in Kansas?

The big box corporations are waging a war of indoctrination. They need us as accomplices in the destruction of our own hometowns. Consumers are best served when there are numerous competitors in the market. The big retail corporations, like Home Depot, Toys R Us, Wal-Mart and Best Buy, are known in the industry as "category killers." The name is significant. These businesses do not intend to compete with local stores; they aim to be the primary games in town.

Every developer that comes before a City or Planning Commission make their projects sound like they were written in Lake Wobegon where all the site plans are good looking and the economic impacts above average. The symptoms of retail saturation are everywhere.

Our governing bodies must remember there are still only so many retail dollars available in any community and Lawrence is but a small town surrounded by established commercial competition aka KCMO/JOCO and Topeka Metro.


Flap Doodle 4 years ago

Be sure to wear cheerful bright clothing while driving the potholed streets that control speed to your dark home (which is dark because brownouts conserve electricity).


Richard Heckler 4 years ago

Wal-Mart is not a pioneer. Wal-Mart only moves in where markets have been established. Wal-Mart anticipates putting neighboring retailers out of business or at least creating a high turnover in nearby properties. Sooner or later the dominoes begin to fall.

The biggest problem is that there are not enough retail dollars in Lawrence,Kansas to support big city development. Only the people making lots of money off real estate don't believe this.

"Neighboring retailers say the increase in expected customer traffic has not happened as planned." That is because the business is not there to begin with as city officials were being advised. Flooded markets are unfriendly to business. Lawrence,Kansas is a flooded market.

How many years ago was Baur Farms approved? Flooded markets do not attract new business because they are unfriendly to business and unfriendly to local taxpayers in a big way.

Tighter markets are strong, produce their revenue expectations, owners make more money AND hire more people. Tight markets can more easily weather economic downturns which inevitably follow "housing bubbles" and other types of boom town economics. Boom town economics produce illusions. Flooded markets produce unfriendly business atmosphere.

A flooded market is a tax increase.

Why is Lawrence economic growth lagging?


independant1 4 years ago

Wait a minute. Is it a prerequisite, for a proven successful business to open, to provide revenue for other competing businesses in the neighborhood?

Having said that, I recall some anecdotal reports say wherever a Starbucks opens the increase in traffic boosted sales to mom and pop coffee shops nearby.

I think the government ought to do a study and clear this up.


kansasmutt 4 years ago

What a shock. It is a fact that has been known for 30 years. Wal Mart does NOT bring customers to other area businesses , due to the fact that Wal Mart customers are going to Wal Mart only to save money and are not going to stop at another area business. Other businesses lose customers to Wal Mart. Whoever fed the line of BS to the area businesses around the west side Wal Mart that it will " bring you customers " knew upfront Wal Mart blights other area businesses . Wal Mart sells cheap imported crap for cheap, that is why people shop at them. If you want quality stuff, you need to shop local mom and pop stores.


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