Butte took a heavy hit this week with the closure of Herberger’s. It seems like everyone I’ve talked to has been pretty down in the dumps about it. Here’s the thing- Don’t Blame Butte!
Herberger’s closing has nothing to do with our economy. In fact, the Butte branch of Herberger’s has been very successful! The problem lies in the corporate structure of Bon Ton. They declared bankruptcy earlier this year. During the proceedings, they had to divest Herberger’s by finding a buyer for the stores. Unfortunately, the top two bids came from liquidation companies.
I will say it again- this wasn’t a Butte problem, it was a corporate problem. In fact, several of the recent company closures in Butte (KMart, Rue 21, Vanity, and Christopher & Banks) have been national companies that failed at the corporate level. It’s just another face of the ugly monster that is online shopping. The internet is killing traditional brick & mortar stores. While it might not matter much in large cities with many options, here in Butte, losing these stores has a significant impact on our economy.
So what can we do? Like I said in my last blog, do everything you can to shop local! Now more than ever, it’s important for us to protect and support our small businesses. Dollars spent with them support our community in every way! I understand things are sometimes difficult to find here at home. But at least look here before you give up and spend dollars in another town. You might be surprised at what you can find!
Here’s another suggestion: help make Butte more attractive to prospective new businesses. While we can’t help much with bringing them in, we can make sure they like what they see when they get here! Be active in the effort to Beautify Butte. Take a bag with you and pick up trash when you’re out in the neighborhood. Get together a group of friends and clean-up a park. Take pride in our community- she might be an old girl, but she still cleans up pretty good!