11/28/2007

Sex Shop and Negative Externalities

I bet the title enticed lots of you to read this. Chapter 11 discusses externalities. The Salt Lake Tribune had an article about a proposed store that sells lingerie and sex-toys. Apparently lots of people in the area are upset about the store called Blue Boutique coming to the area. Mayor Rocky Anderson supports it and the developer is not backing down from the opposition. It is apparent that those opposed to the store think that there are to many negative externalities that would come along with it. None of the externalities mentioned are monetary but the type of people that it may bring to the area as well as the curiosity it will raise in nearby children seem to be the big concerns. When retailers look to move into an area, there are many externalities that go along with it. I used to live near a small town that Walmart wanted to come to and there was lots of discussion about the externalities both positive and negative that it would bring. After discussion, the positives seemed to outweigh the negatives and Walmart was allowed in. It will be interesting to follow this story and see where it goes.

9 comments:

Logan said...

I'm sorry, but their rationale for opposing the shop is faulty. They are assuming that people that would not live in the SLC area will suddenly move there because the Blue Boutique is in town.

The truth is, these items are available now, both in SLC and in St. George. Dillard's, JC Penny, and other credible clothing retailers offer more lingerie than you would think, not to mention 'Victoria's Secret' (which isn't much of a secret by the way). Why are these same people not openly protesting these stores?

Regarding the 'toys,' there are stores that sell these currently as well (Joker Joker, Spencer's, etc), not to mention the 'Slumber Parties' where women will hold a 'party' at their house, demonstrate various clothing and items, then sell them to friends and family (similar to a Tupperware or Stampin' Up party, just a different topic). Why are these protesters not outraged at these events or stores as well?

I propose that the demanders for these items already exist, and these protesters may not recognize it. So are the 'supposed' negative externalities pointing toward a degradation of society or a premature loss of innocence in our youth? I'm sorry but if you really want to make a dent in these areas, start with the entertainment industry. There is more sex and violence in our TV, music, and movies that is regularly exposed to the populous (including the youth) than the Blue Boutique could ever accomplish.

Dominic said...

I don't think that the protestors are worried about what type of people might move to the area with the coming of this new store. Instead, they are concerned about the type of foot traffic that it will attract. I have to agree with the local residents. I wouldn't want that type of store near my home either. I agree that the store owner has the right to do what he wants, but that doesn't change my opinion that I wouldn't "WANT" that type of store near me.

Logan commented that other popular retailers sell lingerie and don't have to fight about it, but I think that the style of lingerie is quite different. I don't see many lingerie outfits in Dillard’s or JC Penny that include black leather, spikes, chains, and a whip!

Also, I don't know of any places to buy sex toys that are near residential housing. You usually have to go to the mall to find a Spencer's store or any other vendor. I think that the Blue Boutique will turn a good profit, but I definitely don't want it in my backyard.

I also agree that our focus should be placed on the entertainment industry not the Blue Boutique.

Dr. Tufte said...

-1 on Caden for a spelling error.

I like Logan's tone very much. It's very telling how focused this complaint is.

This complaint involves two things: 1) upset at the items, and 2) the ability to exert pressure on this issue.

I am quite sure that the people who are upset about this are upset about the items.

But ... I'm also sure that they are focused on a retail store because they can actually exert pressure successfully there. It's much more costly to go after people having parties in their homes, or to retailers that are already established.

So, if I can put my cynical cap on, I think there is a big element here of "beating up" this particular retailer because they can. If that's the case, then these are just bullies, and we should call them that.

Gavin said...

Extra Credit - Dr. Tufte
I don't know if these people are bullies or not. Maybe homes should not be built so close to retail locations if the potential for negative externalities is this significant.

William said...

Dr. Tufte,
I tried looking up the original article, but could not access it. One question that comes to my mind is where is the shop going to be located? In a mall, next to homes by itself, or mixed in an outdoor area with many other retailers?

I think if it is in a mall I might have some concerns, especially if it is right next to a little children's store. I personally would not want a store like that in a place where my children would be apt to go in.

I am originally from a big city and we at one time had a men's night club that was located right next to a Target and was in a neighborhood area. To me personally it left a very bad taste in my mouth. I had to drive by it every day to school and hated it and thought that it should be required to be sanctioned in a certain area.

But, from a business stance of course it’s good. The more business you have in a city the better the city will do if there is demand for the store. However, from a personal stance I have to differ.

Grace said...

Extra Credit--Dr. Tufte,

I'd like to take Dr. Tufte's comment one step further. He commented that people are upset about the items. Could it also be the venue that these items are presented in? The Blue Boutique specializes in these items whereas other venues have these items along with a plethora of other product lines. The Blue Boutique is blatantly a sex shop while other venues, like Victoria's Secret, tend to hide behind supporting product lines (makeup, regular clothing, hair care, etc.)

I really like the points that were made by other bloggers that we should focus some of our energies on the entertainment industry. As Dr. Tufte pointed out, we tend to "bully" those who are easy to bully. A sole retail shop is easier to pick on than the entertainment industry as a whole, so the retail shop will get the blunt of our complaints and attentions.

Dr. Tufte said...

Just to clarify, I've lived in zoning -free cities, and it isn't very nice.

But ... I still think we bully small business owners because we can.

sex toys princes said...

i wished children should be educated at a very young age with sex toys. Sex toys aren't such a bad thing, who knows, we might save some unwanted pregnancy out there...or any abusive stuff....
and having that store erect in that town isn't a bad idea, at least let's be more open minded with these whole thing....

bunny_vibe said...

I think there's nothing wrong with that. I agree with "sex toys princess" said, If the child dont know about what was that,then don't mention it but if your child start asking or already curious about it then explain in a nice way without foul, educate is the key.