First of all, I am not an elected sheriff, and do no serve
in any legal, law enforcement capacity. I elected myself the Virtual sheriff of Brownsville after spending half the day there looking at my family history. I then took of tour of one of my favorite cities, and had an epiphany that is going to take many posts to solidify.
Passing two Victorian storefronts that were for sale and for rent, I thought how wonderful it would be to have an art gallery here. Perhaps I will make McKinzie River Boat models like I planned to do in Blue River. But, could I make enough money to pay the rent? How many riverboats would I have to sell? Could I make enough?
Entering an Antique store across the street, I beheld the proprietor on the internet. I asked him what he was doing because I got no normal greeting. Kelly told me he was putting items on the internet for sale so he can pay his bills during these slow season. This is when the lightbulb went off over my head.
“What if there was a Virtual Brownsville where folks could come to town on the internet, and shop around? Folks are spending hundreds of billions of dollars a year shopping on the internet. Many Americans talk about family values and losing the small town feelings they grew up with.”
Kelley told me a person that own the building across the street is building him a website. I suggested he bring up my ides, and build a retail website for the whole town.
I talked to about five other citizens about my idea.
“Why couldn’t Amazon buy one of these storefronts and set up a coffee shop with computers so folks can drop in, have a cup of Java, and shop online? Empty storefronts are no good for a small town trying to generate commerce and attract tourist dollars. If more folks do there shopping online, not only will the big malls get hurt, towns like Brownsville will become ghost towns.”
This morning when I got on my computer and read google news, I read how Amazon is going to raise its membership fees. As the Virtual sheriff of Brownsville, I am now investigating the greatest threat to my beloved town. Who are the bad guys? Who are the good guys.
That Amazon Prime membership is going to get more expensive.
The online retail giant revealed it is raising the price of an annual subscription to Prime from $79 to $99. The price for the student version of Prime will also rise to $49.
Amazon Prime is an annual subscription service that offers free two-day shipping on select items, access to a host of free videos through the streaming service Amazon Instant Video and access to the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library used to borrow books.
Shares of Amazon are up more than 2% in pre-market trading following news of the price increase.
The price increase was first reported by Cnet.
Amazon first hinted at a price increase for Prime in January during its fourth-quarter earnings call, when the company also revealed its shipping costs surged 19% to $1.21 billion.
The Growth of Online Shopping
Not too many years ago most people shopped in their local stores complete with parking and weather problems, long lines, and wobbly shopping carts. Even when online shopping was available, people felt uncomfortable using their credit cards and giving their personal information to cyber-shops. That has all changed.
Throughout the world online buying has grown exponentially. The money Australians spend online is projected to increase by about $10 billion within the next five years. Consumers may still be concerned about the security of online shopping, but more and more of them are prepared to buy on the web. Faster delivery, easier return policies, and many sites offering free shipping have also increased the desirability of online buying. IBIS World research forecasts an 8.6% per year increase in online revenues over the next five years.
Growth of online shopping has been characterized by strong consumer demands and the increasing number and type of goods available. An 11% annual increase in parcel volume is likely to continue according to Australia’s Postal Chief Executive. Physical stores are moving at least part of their companies online in order to cut costs.
In Nigeria and other African countries, a growing generation of young, internet-savvy individuals has embraced new, online technology. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has documented an increased internet penetration in sub-Saharan Africa. The numbers of users are still far below the world average of around 30%, but are increasing as Africans become more familiar and proficient with online shopping. E-commerce activities have expanded in Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya both due to the proliferation of mobile phones and availability of faster internet networks.
In South Africa, 51% of individuals with internet access shop online. In Kenya, 18-24% make online purchases. In Nigeria approximately 28% of the population has internet access according to ITU figures. The number of mobile cell phone subscriptions has topped 87 million. A new group of internet developers are eager to increase buying options by providing discounted deals on a wide range of products and services. Analysts indicate that a lack of convenient and reliable electronic payment services for online shoppers is a major problem confronted throughout Africa.
In the U.S., Forrester Research shows that $248.7 billion online sales are expected by 2014. A compounded growth of 10% is forecast for the next five years. In Western Europe sales are expected to reach 14 billion euros ($155.7 billion), a growth of 11% percent annually. Apparel, computers and consumer electronics will continue to be dominant purchases; these three areas make up 40% of the current online sales which won’t change in the near future.
Considering that the country is in a major recession, the increase in online buying is a good sign. A survey of U.S. online customers found that 82% are satisfied with buying experiences that began and ended with the online store. Satisfaction dropped to 61% when they researched online and then bought in a store.
Online sales continue to be mostly small-ticket items. The high-ticket products lag far behind by comparison. On average, retailers that have both a physical (store) and online presence have reported an average of 23% growth. Online only retailers (including catalogue sales) however have seen only 9% yearly growth. Online shoppers are beginning to think that the best deals are available online (71%) and that they get better prices there (66%).
The internet is only going to become more popular as time goes by and purchasers worldwide become more comfortable about the security and on-time delivery of their purchases. This is the one area of merchandising that continues to have a positive outlook far into the future.
The area surrounding Brownsville is the self designated Grass Seed Capital of the world. The primarily family-run grass seed farms contribute heavily to the local economy.
Supporting Businesses such as seed brokers, laboratories, farm
equipment dealers, and transporters, are prosperous and growing.
Our easy access to the I-5 corridor makes Brownsville’s light Industrial
Land attractive to small companies looking to lower their transportation
cost or increase their transportation revenue.
Available retail space in the Downtown Commercial area is generally
located in historic buildings. The predominately one story large windowed
store fronts are ideal for specialty retailers, art galleries, bicycle shops,
antique dealers and real estate companies.
Stand By Me – filmed in Brownsville 25 years ago
Join us every summer on July 23rd for a community-wide Stand By Me Day celebration
In 1985, Brownsville was turned into a town named Castle Rock and was teeming with film crews, actors, and the excitement of the movie making process. Today, the movie is still regarded as a favorite and is listed as one of the top 250 American films of all time. A classic movie based on a novella by Stephen King and released in 1986, Stand by Me is a worldwide favorite.
The next Stand By Me Day celebration is Wednesday, July 23, 2014! Join us in Brownsville for a blueberry pancake breakfast, tours of filming locations, and more.
If you can’t make it on July 23rd, visit Brownsville anytime. Download our Walking Map of Stand By Me film locations and take yourself on a tour. Stop and grab a bite at the Brownsville Saloon, the location of the Blue Point Diner in the film. Wander through Pioneer Park, home of the pie-eating contest. Stop by the Pioneer Portrait Gallery to view dozens of photos shot during filming. Check out the Linn County Historical Museum to get your Stand by Me souvenirs – or purchase souvenirs online.
Thomas L. Kay
The company’s roots began in 1863 when Thomas L. Kay made a transcontinental trek to the west coast and began working in the woolen mills in Oregon. He went on to open his own woolen mill, the Thomas Kay Woolen Mill in Salem, Oregon. Kay was an immigrant from England and a weaver by trade. He had previously worked in various textile mills on the east coast of the United States. Before opening his own mill in Salem, he had helped to set up only the second mill in Oregon at Brownsville.
Kay brought his oldest daughter, Fannie Kay, into the business and after learning the operation and management of the mill, she became her father’s assistant. In 1876 Fannie married retail merchant C.P. (Charles Pleasant) Bishop. This proved to be a great benefit to Kay’s company and to the Bishop enterprises in the combination of manufacturing and retail sales. The Bishops passed their expertise and knowledge to their three sons: Clarence, Roy, and (Robert) Chauncey.