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August 10, 2012



It seems like the question is whether Burlingame Ave and Broadway should be like Hillsdale mall or like just the Food court at the mall. The Food court seems like it always smells. I know some retailers on the Avenue who think the same about having a restaurant (did someone say Panda express?) nearby.


What's the Burlingame Chamber of Commerce's opinion on this topic?

Franklin Dad

It seems to me like the Chamber just likes to keep its head down on most things. I've lived in a few places where that was not the case with their Chambers.


There is no way a healthy downtown needs any more restaurants or high-end ladies clothing stores. While we talking about it does anyone want to start a dead pool bet on the yogurt places?


I think the free market takes care of who comes and who goes. For example, if the demographic of downtown Burlingame did not support the many nail salons, there simply wouldn't be as many. The biggest demographic for downtown B game is a woman in her 40's.

I work in a prosperous downtown(PAlo Alto) and it has many more restaurants than downtown Burlingame, but they are supported by the many workers who infiltrate the downtown each day.

We simply can;t make assumptions on what works and what doesn't. The point here is that "showrooming" hurts local retailers, especially independently owned retailers who can not compete with big box or internet retailers.

I hope everyone remembers that shopping local really is important, even if it costs a little more, the returns to the community a really bigger than we might realize.

not so sure

Has anyone heard recently of people getting more than a manicure at some of these salons and massage places? I know Broadway had a bit of that going on a couple of years ago.


What did you have in mind Big boy?


customer loyalty varies based on your demographic. A millennial buyer resides in the 'mercenary' quadrant, http://bit.ly/bIVfTw Mercenary buyers aren't loyal and shop price (showrooming and online).

brick and mortar shops need to be social to appeal to these new buyers, who will become their prime customers in the future; to 'convert' this category to 'loyalist' requires effort, time and resources.

Doing business 'the old fashioned way simply isn't sufficient anymore, and will result in eventual small business failure.

Taxing amazon won't fix the retail loyalty problem. the avenue businesses can't offer the convenience of delivery to your doorstep, or maybe they can. Local business needs to modernize. Further adding a different mix of restaurants vs retail doesn't impact the health of business mix or solve the social/loyalty problem.

re the free market comment above, that is a bit of whimsical fantasy. The market isn't really free. True saturation of 1 business category will tend to balance out.

however, large corps, have amazing power over customers, competitors and brands, they have jacked up rents on the Avenue over the past couple of decades. A small brick and mortar store, now pays unnatural rents for their income stream as a consequence, draining profits.

the free market doesn't really exist in any pure way. Large companies have pricing/information asymmetries, scaling benefits, that a small single shop can only pray for.

Also the deregulation inspired Great Recession has forced many young buyers into this 'mercenary' category out of financial necessity.

Again another argument for why ignoring the middle class to benefit the TBTF banks and top 1% results in extreme hardship for traditional businesses dependent on the middle class buyer.

Vote GOP and you're inadvertently voting for more failed small businesses not less, because of the extreme naivete of their 'free market' argument, and where the GOPs real ambitions (and primary actions) are in advancing big business. What explicit plans and strategies are offered to assist small business. I've heard none articulated....

Also DBID really has failed to make any significnt impact on customer loyalty. It stumbles using traditional tactics, and hasn't really made Burlingame a shopping destination, or explored social to help create an improved business climate for all the local small brick and mortar businesses who are being levied (taxed) for BID services.

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