On Saturday we published a commentary by Kerrville City Councilwoman Delayne Sigerman about the reality of the duties facing those who serve on the city council. 

Of course, this comes after a wave of criticism heaped on the city council and Mayor Bill Blackburn about the decision to allow 510 new homes to be constructed just south of the Riverhill community and along Texas 16. 

The commentary generated some strong reactions from people, including this comment: 

“Don’t tell me we still don’t qualify for a Target but somehow warrant 510 homes here We surely must be closer to having one.” 

That was of particular interest to us because we hear a lot about people who want to see a Target come here, but economic leaders here have been cautionary about that hope. There’s a good reason for that caution, illustrating Sigerman’s point that a lot is out of the hands of the city council, and that’s that the retail environment is a state of disruptive chaos. 

Consider these numbers from The Associated Press about retail: Amazon said it has more than 150 million Prime members worldwide who pay $119 a year for faster shipping and other perks. That’s up 50% from the last time Amazon disclosed the number in 2018. It also surpasses Netflix, which has 139 million members globally who pay to stream movies and TV shows.

And the news is not good for the traditional brick and mortar stores either, at least according to the same AP article: Target reported disappointing sales growth for November and December. And department stores Macy’s, Kohl’s and J.C. Penney all posted holiday sales declines. Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, will release its results later this month.

In fact, Amazon’s numbers were so good that the company founder, Jeff Bezos, saw his wealth rise by more than $12 billion in one day. 

Now, how that circles back to us here in the Hill Country is simple — retail is unpredictable. The fate of J.C. Penney and others, including Pier One, is uncertain. While we’ve welcomed Hobby Lobby and Harbor Freight to the area, it’s not a certainty that others will follow suit. 

Consider this data from a 2018 report by a group called Pymnts.com, which tracks the retail sector: 

The average Target shopper is female, younger and chic. Women make that list first because the most notable trait among Target shoppers when compared to their counterparts is that Target draws women, particularly younger ones. While Walmart, Kohl’s and Kmart all have a majority of female shoppers (>50 percent), Target’s base shoppers are 60–63 percent female, on average.

Target shoppers are also a bit younger: 58–62 percent of Target’s shoppers are between the age of 18 and 44, as opposed to Walmart, where that age demographic represents about 48 percent of shoppers; Kohl’s, where younger consumers make up about 44 percent of the customer base; and Kmart, which only draws 34 percent of its shoppers from the millennials/young Generation Xers. Conversely, Target has the smallest proportion of consumers age 65 or older, as that only represents about 12 percent of its customer base.

But Target’s consumers are more than young — they are more affluent than their peers who are shopping at Walmart. On average, 25- to 34-year-olds who shop at Target make about $12,000 more a year more than their counterparts shopping at regular stores, with an average annual income of around $65,000. Target also generally leads with more affluent consumers, among those who make over $100,000 a year, Target the favored retailer, with 25 percent of its shoppers reporting that much income. Consumers who make more than $50,000 per year represent over 60 percent of Target’s consumer base (by comparison, that same demographic is about 45 percent of Walmart’s.)

And that will be the challenge for the city council in the months to come

 

SUPPORT IS IN FAVOR OF THE COUNCIL

After the Kerrville City Council’s unanimous decision to allow 510 homes to be constructed in the city we saw a lot of vitriol, plenty of misinformation and some sadness that the city was definitely going to change. 

As we’ve done for the last few months, we asked about the decision of our Facebook audience if the decision was the right one. The one-day non-scientific poll came back with 63% in favor of the city council’s decision. 

That’s interesting because it’s the same result we’ve gotten in our last three polls dating back to the first time this came before the city’s planning and zoning commission in November. 

It’s been a 63-37 split each time we’ve asked the question. 

We’ve asked various polls, both on Facebook and on dailytimes.com, about housing since September, and the response has been about the same. Residents were: 

Supportive of the city’s 2050 plan. 

Were lukewarm on housing incentives — 53-47 in favor

Were generally supportive of the city council — 59-41

And identified affordable housing as the No. 1 need in the city, in two separate polls. 

Reactions have been strong on both sides of the issue, with more than 100 comments posted on our Facebook page after Tuesday’s decision. Just some of the comments: 

Pathetic! Horrible move by the city!

Why not use a local builder like Huser or another Hill Country company for this venture? Weird. Maybe there was a bidding process I missed. 

It’s time to vote these people out of office. Typically Democrats just do what they want so they can fill their pockets it’s all about them.

 

NURSING NUMBERS

We’re still hearing from people who are doubtful about our claim that the average salary for Texas nurses is more than $70,000 per year. So, we did some more digging for those who will still probably stick their head in the sand like its 1966, but here’s what job recruitment website Indeed.com estimates is the average nursing salary per hour in Texas

 

San Antonio $36.03

Houston $36.03

Fort Worth $34.31

Dallas $33.58

El Paso $32.47

Amarillo $30.88

Austin $30.69

 

Ok, so let’s do the basics here and take the low end and that’s based on a 40-hour workweek and the gross is more than $63,000 per year. We suspect most nurses would scoff at the notion they work just 40 hours a week. 

TAKE THE POLL

(1) comment

George Baroody

KDT editorial board's original claim a week ago was the median household incomes of WORKING FAMILIES was around $60K and the average was around $80K. KDT made these claims without any supporting data and still have been silent on that. You chose to cherry pick nursing profession and then utilized average salaries from the major metro areas in Texas. If you have not noticed, Kerrville does not qualify as a major metro and has a workforce made up of much more than a nurse. Furthermore, even in the medical field, an RN is not likely below the median of health care workers.

The River Hill project has passed so may I respectfully suggest that KDT cease trying to justify its passage by revising history by quoting facts that miss the point, making claims unsupported by local facts or simply reprinting false information provided by other 'news outlets'. KDT is always entitled to their opinion, but not entitled to their own version of facts.

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