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One frequently hears the complaint that Los Alamos has too little retail choice – too few stores, too limited an inventory in the few stores we have and too high prices. The unspoken assumption behind these complaints is that this is the fault of the retailers themselves, or perhaps of the county government. In fact, it is no one’s fault but our own.
It’s not rocket science – it is basic economics. Retail can only survive if there are enough customers and enough sales to cover the costs and pay the bills. Stores can only carry more inventory if there are enough sales to support that much inventory. Prices can only be lower if sales volume is high enough to amortize the business costs over more sales. It is that simple. Statewide, about 44 cents of every dollar spent stays in the community. In our community, only about 11 cents of every dollar spent stays on the Hill. No wonder retail has such a hard time here.
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