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Street Talk

You Can Get What You Need in Water Valley

By Mickey Howley

In this edition of the North Mississippi Herald you will find the Water Valley Main Street Association’s annual Shoppers Guide to Water Valley. With much assistance from our members and the North Mississippi Herald staff, we publish this every year as a reminder of what is available in Water Valley.

Our goal is to remind you about what is here and the benefits of keeping money local and suggesting a shopping mindset change; that thinking to shop local first means as much for you as it does your local merchants.

Retail and entertainment patterns do change over time. Given that the town’s population has remained stable in the last 50 years, some wonder why Water Valley has no longer any new car dealerships or movie theaters as those businesses were functioning operations fifty years ago. The national pattern or model for those businesses has changed and chances are those types of businesses are not coming back.  But what has happened recently by using economic data about escaping local purchases is some new businesses have opened in Water Valley and older ones have adjusted to re-capture this leaving money. The WVMSA sponsored this study during the charrette two years ago and we will update this study in another two years to stay current on local purchasing trends.

Perhaps it is human nature to overlook the obvious, but it does take effort to look and find and shop local. Just because the bigger guys have bigger signs and bigger advertising budgets that does not mean their products or services are better.

The truth is one will occasionally shop a big box store, I went in Wal-Mart in Oxford twice this year, both times dreading that someone from Water Valley would see me. Sure enough, on the first visit the first person I saw in the store was a Vallian and we had an embarrassed laugh at how we caught each other shopping at Wally World.

In my other big box shopping experience, I was looking for a certain style of turnbuckle and a certain style of caster for a small project. I looked at Valley Lumber, Sartain’s, The Other Other Place and could not find the exact things I wanted, went to Sneed’s in Oxford and finally to Home Depot. No one had the precise style I was looking for, but the selection of items similar to what I was looking for was as good or better in the Water Valley stores as it was in Home Depot.

Home Depot had more volume of the items, but not a better selection than the Water Valley stores. I ended up coming back to the Valley, buying items close to what I wanted, modifying them to work and berating myself for driving 40 miles and wasting 2 hours.

All of which reminded me of a line from a Rolling Stones song, “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, well you just might find you get what you need”

Shop Water Valley first, you’ll get what you need.

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