Consider these two bullet points as they relate to and downtown Davis:
- Target is a big-box retailer that takes away from small businesses downtown.
- Target is a place for us to buy socks and underwear in Davis, keeping sales-tax revenue local rather than sending folks to Woodland or Vacaville.
According to a story by Tom Sakash in last week’s Davis Enterprise, the latter is the more accurate of a two. The story analyzes a study by Susan Handy, UCD professor of environmental policy and planning.
The study said that Davisites now drive 79 miles per month for commerce, whereas they were driving 97 before Target opened. Also, a survey of about 1,000 people revealed that items purchased at Target don’t tend to be items people look for downtown.
But if you look beyond the basic result of the survey, you’ll see that non-downtown retailers throughout Davis have actually suffered since Target’s arrival. You’ll also see the disappearance of retailers like .
So, while one could argue, based on the study, that Target's presence hasn’t affected the downtown core, the same can't be said for the rest of the town, according to the study, which noted declines in non-downtown businesses.
The results are likely more complicated. Busienss owners echo this feeling, as you can see in this CBS video report.
What do you think? Is Target keeping sales-tax revenue in town or is it squashing small businessses? Or both? Comment below.
For more Davis Patch: