How could job loss for 80 small-town residents be a "great story?" When it means the defeat of a "big box" "Goliath" said NBC.
On May 7, NBC "Nightly News" gleefully reported the closing of a Home Depot in Brattleboro, Vt. The closure is part of the company's plan to close 15 of its roughly 2,200 stores due to underperformance. NBC portrayed it as "David versus Goliath," and praised the little guys' victory over the big bad box store.
"Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams called it a "great story" and reporter Mike Taibbi called it, "in a man bites dog sort of way, an unlikely survivor story." (Maybe they're Jimmie Johnson fans?)
"It's not surprising that long-time residents, like John Morse back at the Ace [Hardware] store, collected thousands of petition signatures opposing Home Depot when it arrived four years ago and are cheering now because it's closing," Taibbi said.
Two smaller hardware stores, Ace and True-Value, stayed in business to compete with Home Depot when it opened its store, and the family-owned businesses are celebrating what they hope will spell the end of their "long, flat earnings" now that residents will have to get their hardware from mom-and-pop shops.
But Home Depot closing also means lost choices for consumers, who may face less convenient hours, smaller selections or higher prices at the mom-and-pop shops. But at least the store owner might know their name!
It also means 80 employees of Home Depot will be out of work. Taibbi insisted that "no one's cheering" that fact. Nonetheless, he featured two residents to did cheer it.
"People are going, ‘Yes, yes, yes, we did it!" said Morse. The owner of the local True-Value hardware store, Glen St. John, said, "Here's a hometown True-Value that outlasted the big box store. That's exciting."