This is an email I received today. (ok it is from a relative but someone is reading the blog.) He now lives in Comox BC but was born and raised in Charlottetown and he was commenting on my recent post about the recent developments in Charlottetown. I thought I would post it and comment on it as well.
Hi Joel, I saw your blog on your Century 21 website concerning changes in Charlottetown. What is of most interest to me, in a rather sad way, is not the creation of new structures and new ways of living - we will always have that going on - but the disappearance of businesses with family names on them, for example, "Rogers Hardware" for one and I know there are others. The same thing is happening here and, I suppose, everywhere as such establishments as "Wal-Mart" arise and smaller establishments owned by local folks close. In time, there will be little difference in the character of our urban areas as, from a business point of view, one will look pretty much the same as all the others. One remarkable community on Vancouver Island, Qualicum Beach, does not permit national or international franchises in the town so don't look for a "Home Depot" or a "Burger King" in that community but expect shops and eateries, each of which has its particular, refreshing identity. Change is inevitable, it's just that I find much of it boring. Rod
As mentioned in the earlier post many of those family named businesses are gone but there are some longstanding ones that are still present such as Dow's Men's and Ladies Wear is still operated by the Dow family, Velle Bugden has been operating The Studio framing for over 40 years and Currie Shoe Repair is still in the Currie Block Building. Some have made changes such as one of the Cudmores from Henderson and Cudmore Stores still owns and operates businesses in the downtown core -namely the Roots Store. Norton's Jewellers is still in operation and there are many other businesses that have been in operation for quite some time but the "family" name shop is starting to disappear with the many bigger chains that arrive. I admit quite freely that I do shop at all the stores- the argument that they don't support Island owners may be true but they do employ Islanders. Although my uncle makes some great observations about another community- it is hard to turn the clock back. If you think of your day to day living how would that affect your life ? Could you still get a drive thru coffee, sandwich, hamburger ? Could I look at a few types of fridges in a local mercantile or could I look at a dozen at a larger shop ? This then begs the question "How many do I need to look at ?" With these changes in our retail industry it has made competition even harder for the smaller shops but those that offer great service and an attention to detail still will survive.
It is true in our business- Century 21 as a franchise offers recognition as an International Brand, logo and all types of great products (such as this website) and other tools that help us assist hundreds of people sell and purchase property each year for our office. Could we still offer a lot of those tools and services if we were still Colonial Realty ? Probably but it would be difficult and the cost factor would be quite more significant. It is our belief to treat people fairly, listen to their needs and look out for their interests. It is those values that we started and stayed with. We also believe that our franchise has those beliefs also.
So Change will always occur and yes it is sometimes boring but so is no change.