Edgefield County, SC -
More stores are coming to the CSRA: And while for you that may mean more shopping, for small business owners it can mean big trouble. In this economy, everyone wants to get more bang for their buck: Locals, like Drew Johnson, want to shop at smaller stores in the community, but sometimes there just isn’t enough room in the budget. “It’s terrible to say money is a factor, but I mean sometimes the big stores, I’ll be checking, and if they do have that deal, I will definitely go that way,” said Johnson. Shooter’s Owner Buddy Lichty said the shooting range at his shop keeps his business coming back, but he can see how many local outdoor shops could be affected by Cabela’s opening. “The bigger box stores will have more selection, and it will be harder to compete against that selection because us as mom and pops we don’t have the bank roll to have that inventory in stock,” said Lichty Speaking of big selection: Cabela’s will have 42,000 square feet to fill in Augusta. Edgefield’s Turkey Shoppe on Main is a lot smaller, but the manager Sean Burch said local stores still have an edge. “The guy working at a big box store, it may be his part time job, and he’s not an expert where a lot of times when you’re running a little mom and pop store where it’s the owner of the store, it’s his passion…he loves fishing, hunting, firearms…he’s going to give you expert opinion,” said Burch. For small stores or big box retailers, sporting is big business: The U.S. Census Bureau reports hunters in Georgia spent almost $350 million on equipment in 2011. If hunters continue to fork out the money, Burch said there is enough room for everyone. “I think Cabela’s offers a big huge showroom with lots of selection and that’s great for people to see that stuff, but I think when it comes down to a small shop like ours, and others around the CSRA that you want that personalized service,” said Burch.