Contest entices consumers to buy in Tracy
by Denise Ellen Rizzo
Nov 30, 2012 | 2739 views | 8 8 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In an effort to boost holiday season sales tax receipts, the Tracy Chamber of Commerce and city officials have created a contest to encourage shoppers to spend their dollars within city limits.

The contest, called iShop Tracy, will award an iPad to the person who spends the most money on a single item, including vehicle purchases, and an iPad Mini to the person who presents the most individual sales receipts. All submitted receipts must be collected by the participant, governed by the honor system.

“It can be anything — groceries, coffee, any form of spending in the Tracy community,” said chamber President Sophia Valenzuela.

According to West Valley Mall manager Mike Donaghy, who supported the original idea of the contest, one of the reasons the contest was created was the recent opening of Paragon Outlets Livermore about 25 miles west of Tracy.

The concern among the local business community was that more people might shop outside the city this holiday season, he said.

“I initially made contact with the city at the end of October to see if we could start something like this,” Donaghy said. “There’s a lot of competition over the hill with the factory outlets, and we should do something to counteract that. Think local, shop local. Tax dollars do us a lot more good if spent in town as opposed to leaving town.”

Tracy collects a certain percentage of sales tax on items and services purchased within city limits. According to Tracy Finance Director Zane Johnston, the city gets 1.5 cents per dollar of the sales tax.

Tracy City Center Association President Dino Margaros, whose group promotes downtown merchants, said the contest should be a boost. He said Tracy’s mall, outlet mall and local business community joined the iShop Tracy promotion, because they were all “competing with other cities” for consumer spending.

Margaros said shoppers need to understand that the added tax revenue their local shopping creates helps pay for city services such as public safety and the upkeep of local roads.

“It’s a promotion to remind people that every dollar spent here in taxes stays here,” Margaros said.

The contest runs from Nov. 23 through Dec. 31, and entry forms can be obtained at the chamber website, www.tracy

chamber.org.

• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or drizzo@tracypress.com.
Comments
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backinblack
|
December 01, 2012
This seems a bit absurd, to wit:

"The contest, called iShop Tracy, will award an iPad to the person who spends the most money on a single item, including vehicle purchases"

“It can be anything — groceries, coffee, any form of spending in the Tracy community,” said chamber President Sophia Valenzuela.

So, why should anyone bother with buying groceries, clothes, or whatever other small ticket items, when all it takes is one person to buy a vehilce to knock the small ticket item purchaser out of the running for the iPad? I assume the car dealers hope at least one person buy's a car under the promotion - or should I say bribe.

Also, for the people who can afford a car, especially if it's a higher priced vehicle, I can resonably assume they are not going to buy it in Tracy just to get an iPad, I imagine if they can go elsewhere and save a thousand or more, they will do so.

You don't usually beat the competition by bribing people or dangling a carrot, maybe you get a brief increase in sales or lookie loo's, but it doesn't fix the underlying problem of inferior products, higher prices, or for whatever reason, a less enjoyable shopping experience.

cont..........

backinblack
|
December 01, 2012
"Margaros said shoppers need to understand that the added tax revenue their local shopping creates helps pay for city services such as public safety and the upkeep of local roads."

Um, if there are people who don't know this already I suggest they are no longer allowed to vote. If any person of voting age doesn't know sales taxes help with city, state, or federal services, they should not be allowed to vote as they are too ill-informed to participate.
Sneaky
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November 30, 2012
By the way, the city should think of us as citizens and residents, not as some mindless little consuming robots.
Sneaky
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November 30, 2012
I would rather see the city encourage people to save, rather than spend. Whether they spend outside Tracy or in Tracy encouraging residents to live beyond their means and promoting mindless consumerism is not doing anybody any favors.
DogmaticMFer
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December 01, 2012
Sneaky, I hear you but it's the same as the woman who claimed eating McDonald's caused her poor health and obesity. No one forced her to eat that double quarter pounder, fries and diet coke. Like her, no one is forcing the hand of those who buy into this ruse by the city to spend money. Especially those who may spend beyond their means. But in the event those illogical, irresponsible, reckless and foolhardy folks are out there, I would hope they DO NOT have a supported family or children of the same. By themselves. They can spend; go broke and enjoy their new Apple product alone.
1219tracy
|
November 30, 2012
Here's a thought, why don't they entice the stores to come to Tracy. That way I won't have to travel to Pleasanton to shop. I'm sure people would be more then happy to shop here if there were stores to shop at. Macy's is great and I'm glad it's here, but it doesn't have everything. So I find it's better to go to a mall that has a better selection to get everything I need.
DogmaticMFer
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December 01, 2012
1219 and Luv, I couldn't agree more with both of you. But on the other hand, or another to look at this from outside of the box is to think of shopping outside of the city like a vacation.

One of the reasons for leaving town on vacation is to get away. If we had everything or ever store or eatery in town we wanted, we would eventually grow tired and burn out from shopping and eating here.

I like visiting other cities and states to explore new things.. When I'm done. I love coming home.


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