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Ormond Beach Observer Sunday, Jul. 3, 2016 4 years ago

BIG KID NOW: Am I crazy or do we have way too many dollar stores?

The city's Economic Developer Joe Mannarino says there are 12; I feel it's more like 50.
by: Emily Blackwood News Editor

Last week I was told — either through a dream or in an email I accidentally deleted — that a Wawa was going to replace the recently demolished Cheaters Gentlemen's Club on North U.S. 1. 

Thrilled with the idea, I immediately called up the city's Economic Developer Joe Mannarino for a confirmation. My heart literally sank when he told me that there was not going to be a Wawa, but another Dollar General. 


Frustrated and hangry (hungry + angry), I ranted about my misfortunes to my friend, Madeline. She agreed with my stance on Ormond not needing another dollar store, and through our combined mathematical efforts (yikes), we figured out that Ormond already has 17.  

I harassed Joe for what was probably the fifth time this week (sorry, there's a fruit basket en route to city hall), and he guessed there were 12 dollar stores within our city limits. According to Google Maps, there are a total of 10: three Dollar Generals, two Dollar Trees, four Family Dollars and one A&G Dollar Store. 

So really, who knows. 

Though the number isn't definite, I'd say anything over five seems a bit excessive. Now I love a bargain — dollar stores are where I exclusively buy my tealight candle packs — but Ormond is not that big, and I think we've passed our limit. 

"It's an indicator of the market," Joe explained to me in the "Emily calm down" voice my dad always uses. "We're not recruiting them, but obviously there is a market for them because they're here." 

Self-described as a "free market kind of guy," Joe said that though it's hard to determine exactly why so many dollar stores are here, it might have something to do with the fact that it's not just Ormond folk we need to take into consideration. Residents of Holly Hill and unincorporated Volusia County might also be frequenting these stores. 

"There's also the retired population who are on a fixed income who shop there," he said. "They're looking for value." 

And once again, I was reminded that it's not all about me. 

I know when construction is happening, there's always a hope inside us that it's going to be something cool and beneficial to our own personal needs and wants. But the best part about living in a community like Ormond is that it's not just your community. It's everybody's. 

While your dream might be to have a Target within walking distance to your house, it could be your neighbor's to have a Dollar General on the way home from work. Our city may be small, but I think there's enough room for each of us to have something we can be excited about. 

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