Bartell having to pay for off-duty police, losing money in downtown Seattle

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SamSpade
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Bartell having to pay for off-duty police, losing money in downtown Seattle

Post by SamSpade » March 25th, 2019, 11:37 pm

Apparently Bartell hired a new CEO relatively recently (hard to know much on this company as they are not public).
She came from San Francisco and says that community issues are worse in downtown Seattle.
Bartell Drugs says it will not open any more stores in downtown Seattle after violent assaults on employees

I suspect the two stores now losing money are:
3rd & Union
The new one at 4th Ave & Jackson

The other two in downtown are a little more "sheltered" -
1628 5th Avenue is adjacent to a medical-dental building and Nordstrom
910 4th Ave is in the first floor of an office skyscraper with limited weekend operation

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Re: Bartell having to pay for off-duty police, losing money in downtown Seattle

Post by Brian Lutz » March 26th, 2019, 10:32 am

I occasionally visit the 4th and Jackson (International District) store since it's across the street from my usual bus stop. I have seen security officers at the store, but haven't seen any incidents. A lot of the problem is that people in Seattle city government are more interested in exploiting the homeless for political gain (mostly as a convenient excuse for every tax increase they try to pass) than in trying to do anything to solve the problem. In particular, there's a certain group of around 100 habitual offenders who have amassed over 3,500 criminal charges between them, mostly for shoplifting to support drug habits, and who have found ways to game the system and make it difficult to jail them, so even the regular police have little they can do about the problem.

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Re: Bartell having to pay for off-duty police, losing money in downtown Seattle

Post by storewanderer » March 26th, 2019, 9:51 pm

What in the heck has happened to Seattle? 7 years ago there was so little of this sort of thing happening that you never even heard about it. The city was very clean and felt very safe.

Now you have these sorts of problems... and those QFCs with their "no public restroom" policy in inner Seattle.

Bartell will simply need to increase prices to pay for this new "overhead" cost, or just close/sell the stores. My observation of Bartell was those downtown Seattle Stores had the same pricing as the ones in suburbs. I think their prices were too low, considering the downtown locations, and other factors (higher minimum wage in Seattle proper, etc.).

Part of the problem is Bartell is not really used to dealing with this sort of thing. They have operated in a generally laid back and incident free Seattle for decades. CVS and Walgreens operate some stores in some very tough areas in numerous large cities and they have protocols in place to deal with these sorts of locations. I can see how Bartell, an old time Seattle retailer, has gotten caught off guard in the new Seattle.

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Re: Bartell having to pay for off-duty police, losing money in downtown Seattle

Post by buckguy » March 27th, 2019, 8:20 am

I suspect there's nothing new here. I've been traveling to Seattle at different intervals since the late 80s and always have stayed downtown. If anything, the downtown area was struggling more in past years than now and there's been progressively more gentrification around the periphery of downtown over time. I suspect they're simply a struggling and may have made some poor choices for new locations.

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Re: Bartell having to pay for off-duty police, losing money in downtown Seattle

Post by mbz321 » March 28th, 2019, 9:04 am

storewanderer wrote:
March 26th, 2019, 9:51 pm
What in the heck has happened to Seattle? 7 years ago there was so little of this sort of thing happening that you never even heard about it. The city was very clean and felt very safe.
Increased costs of living with diminished economic prospects = more crime (this is pretty much applicable to anywhere at this point).

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Re: Bartell having to pay for off-duty police, losing money in downtown Seattle

Post by storewanderer » March 28th, 2019, 5:48 pm

mbz321 wrote:
March 28th, 2019, 9:04 am
storewanderer wrote:
March 26th, 2019, 9:51 pm
What in the heck has happened to Seattle? 7 years ago there was so little of this sort of thing happening that you never even heard about it. The city was very clean and felt very safe.
Increased costs of living with diminished economic prospects = more crime (this is pretty much applicable to anywhere at this point).
Development in Seattle has been booming and jobs have been being added there in large numbers in recent years. Lots of new development...

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Re: Bartell having to pay for off-duty police, losing money in downtown Seattle

Post by rwsandiego » March 28th, 2019, 10:27 pm

storewanderer wrote:
March 28th, 2019, 5:48 pm
mbz321 wrote:
March 28th, 2019, 9:04 am
storewanderer wrote:
March 26th, 2019, 9:51 pm
What in the heck has happened to Seattle? 7 years ago there was so little of this sort of thing happening that you never even heard about it. The city was very clean and felt very safe.
Increased costs of living with diminished economic prospects = more crime (this is pretty much applicable to anywhere at this point).
Development in Seattle has been booming and jobs have been being added there in large numbers in recent years. Lots of new development...
Right, but those who do not have full-time jobs at Amazon are priced out of that development. San Francisco is very similar. My company's former HQ is in San Francisco. We've started moving entire departments out because we can't find people to work there for the salaries we pay. And we pay well. However, a fraud analyst or training professional doesn't earn what an app developer at a money-losing VC-funded startup earns and that's the salary required to live there.

All that said, I was struck by the violent nature of many folks on the street in downtown Seattle. San Francisco and San Diego have a lot of homeless people, but not the roving gangs of people who appeared to be waiting to pounce on an unsuspecting stranger. While I did not feel unsafe, per se, (it helps to be 6'4" with a shaved head - I get mistaken for a cop) I did feel like I had to be on my guard all the time.

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