Previous Public Input Received
The following input and submissions were gathered by the commission through public hearings held in 29 communities throughout B.C. from September to November 2014. The public also provided input through the online submission form, by email and by mail to be reviewed and considered as the commission develops a Preliminary Report for further public input.
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Posts

    Saug Sekhon, Kelowna
    2014-11-16

    I lived in Merritt for 47 years and worked for 39 years in the grocery retail business, the last 23 years as Manager of Extra-Foods Merritt Division. Currently, I live and own businesses in Kelowna; however, I maintain strong ties with Merritt where I still own a house and some properties.

    When the Extra-Foods store first opened in the 1990s Head Office projected that up to 40% of our clientele would be from highway traffic, or out of town. About 10 years ago, during my tenure as Manager of Extra-Foods I performed a survey of all the people shopping in the store over a three day period to determine where all my customers were coming from. The hosts were all directed to ask each and every customer to write down his/her postal code on a piece of paper and drop it into sealed boxes.

    The results showed that 35% of the customers shopping at the Merritt Extra-Foods store were indeed from outside Merritt. The biggest numbers came from Logan Lake, Ashcroft Cache Creek, Princeton, Lytton, Spence’s Bridge, and smaller numbers from Boston Bar, Hope and Lillooet. The biggest surprise was how many customers shopping in the Merritt store were actually from Logan Lake and Princeton.

    In our one-to-one conversations with repeat customers we quickly realized that our clientele from Logan Lake chose Merritt over Kamloops and those from Princeton chose Merritt over Penticton for the same reasons. They both liked the shorter distances to Merritt from their home community and they preferred the personal attention provided by our smaller store compared to the larger stores elsewhere. Our out of area customers also prefer to shop at the other businesses in Merritt for the same reasons.

    I ask the Commission not to remove Princeton from Fraser-Nicola as this community is an important trading partner with Merritt. Merritt and Princeton are also joined at the hip when it comes to the school district and our local Forestry Department with head offices located in Merritt. Boundary-Similkameen can find areas in the Okanagan to add to it.

    Thank you.

    Saug Sekhon

    Kelowna



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