Stop Feeding The Dinosaurs

Craig James | January 13, 2020

I rode by an old closed-down video store in my hometown the other day, and I couldn’t help but think of how just 10 or 15 years ago, the place was really booming. They literally had thousands of choices of movie titles, the manager was friendly and knew you by name, and the prices were reasonable.

Fast forward a decade later, we have five little red movie boxes, vending machines for renting movies, that are spread across town. They all have the same 75 or so movies, and the original price of a rental has now doubled from what it was originally. You usually have to wait a few minutes in the hot sun or freezing cold, depending on the season, just to find the one movie you really wanted to see is out of stock.

Yeah it stinks when a town loses a small business, and the real downer is usually when they are gone they aren’t coming back. It’s a reality we all face, and our local outdoor stores are no exception.

Take my good friend Seth Carter. Seth owns Satilla Feed & Outdoors, a small feed store between Waycross and Blackshear that also sells fishing tackle, clothing, some hunting gear and a little bit of everything else. It’s the kind of place where folks hang around a while, sit on feed bags and tell jokes. Seth either knows you by name or he will next time. His prices are fair, and if he doesn’t have what you need, he will order it. It’s the classic small town business, and thanks to his hard work, it’s really thriving.

For now.

Dinosaurs are devouring small stores, and if we keep feeding them our money, we won’t have any hometown outdoor stores left in the next decade. Like it or not, you can take that to the bank. Once they run off all the small business guys, that’s when the games really begin. When Amazon, Walmart and all the similar big name companies have no local competition, those “everyday low prices” are going up overnight, and the selection of products will be cut down to the handful of products they are making the most money on.

Folks, if we don’t stop taking our business from the local stores, you can kiss them goodbye. From one end of Georgia to the other, every town has one. Whether it’s Sirmans Hardware in Pearson, Franklin’s Gun Shop in Athens, Chuck’s in Warner Robins or the hundreds of others in between. We have got to spend our money at these places, so they can continue to serve us.

For me the choice is easy. I’m spending my money at Satilla Feed & Outdoors. I might could save a few bucks here and there shopping on Amazon, and Walmart will cut me a good deal for scanning and bagging my tackle, but at Satilla Feed I’ve got a friend I can talk to while I sit on a bag of dog food.

There is a Seth Carter, and a Satilla Feed, near your hometown, wherever you live. Get out and support them and their business. It’s time we stop feeding the dinosaurs once and for all.


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