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Tianhui Chen Professor Leslie Mateer LA 101h
Dear State College government, I am a freshman at the Pennsylvania State University. In my first year of college, I enjoyed the State College environment a lot. The movie theaters, shops, malls, parks and other things fulfill students’ entertainment needs after we work so hard on our academics. Although we have several malls and local shops in the downtown and other areas, there are still limited choices for people to shop in State College. In downtown, there are only two well-known clothing brands: Urban Outfitter and A&F. Metro, Access and Appalachian are the alternative choices. Also there are several stores that sell similar Penn State clothing. The Nittany Mall, which is the only mall in the local, has about 45 shops but only 8 of them are men’s and women’s clothing. People will get tired of them after times. For college students, it might be just a short pain since we only stay in this area for four years, but it’s a torture for the local residents since they spend most of their lives living in state college. According to the insufficient choice of clothing in State College, I urge the State College Government should create a new shopping mall with more brands for the local residents and the students and faculty of Pennsylvania State University. As we know, our student body has about 44,000 people and, if we add the faculty, we have about 52,000 people just in the university itself. The number does not include the local
residents. Even though State College is a small town, it still has a large population. The population of State College is about 42,000. 1 This adds up about 94,000 people. With such a large population, there will be lots of economic activities. People make and spend money in this town, but their choices are very limited. So the government needs to build a new shopping mall to open up people’s choice. When the students are disappointed with the shops in downtown and the mall, they turn to online shopping. Online shopping is popular among college students since it is convenient and is the only way for them to buy other brands. In the U.S, the total value of the online retail sale is 112,792 in 2009, which is 48.1% of the total retail sale.2 Online shopping does become a popular trend right now. However, there are several problems with online shopping. First, advertisements are everywhere on the internet. The websites always put out lots of deals to encourage people to spend their money. So we are always attracted to the advertisement and buy the unnecessary products, which is a waste of money and time. Second, we have to spend too much money on the shipping. The average shipping rate is
"Total Population." "Electronic Shopping and Mail-Order Houses-Total and E-Commerce Sales by Merchandise Line."
from 6 to 15 dollar on clothing. The shipping puts an extra spending on the bill. Some websites will put out deals like, “free shipping on order over xxx”. This makes us have to spend more than we actually need to. Also, it does not benefit the local and has little contribution to the local economy. If we shop in local, the money we give to the shop will be used to pay for electricity, rent and wage. So the money stays in the local area instead of in other places. Third, the photos of the product people see online do not always match with the real product. Sometimes, we don't get the product we want and the returning of the product is very difficult. There are only a few companies have reasonable return policy on online shopping. Most of them do not provide return service or make the procedure too complicated to stop customers from returning the product. Online shopping is not a preferred way but there is no choice for the people in State College. It makes us spend too much money and get the unnecessary or disappointed product. We should spend the money in the local shops, which benefits the local economy and ourselves. Building a new shopping mall plays an important role in stimulating the local economy. First, the plan of a new mall will catch people’s attention. It influences not only the locals but also the surrounding areas. It invites lots of brands into the State College, which will open a bigger market. This will make many companies believe that State College has a good environment for commerce, which helps the business in the local area to gain attention from outside.
Second, the construction of the mall will create jobs for the locals. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistic, the unemployment and the unemployment rate of State College both have risen since last October.3 State College needs the new shopping mall as stimulation to the economy. The per capita personal income of State College has increased from 22,410 to 23,723 from 2000 to 2003. However, it only ranks 151 in the U.S.4 In order to provide a better place for residents, we need the new mall to improve the living condition in State College. The employment rate in State College is about 36.3%. Service occupation is about 22.9% of the labor force, which is the second biggest percentage in occupation. The retail trade is the third biggest contribution to the local economy, which is only after educational services, health care and social assistance and arts, entertainment and recreation and accommodation and food services.5 It is clear that retail service contributes a lot to the local area in various ways. All of these show the role of retail service in State College. It provides jobs
State College, PA Economy at a Glance. News Release: New BEA Economic Areas for 2004. 5 "Selected Economic Characteristics."
and revenue to the residents and the government. A new shopping mall will be a reasonable investment for State College. Third, after the construction, the mall will become a major contribution to the local economy. The new shops in the mall create a new demand of the people. The buying and selling between customers and retailers help the economic growth of State College. It’s because when people buy local, their money stay in the local area. That money covers the daily cost and wage of the retailers and encourages the retailers to spend the money. It becomes a circulation and benefits the local economy continuously. When the new mall fulfills most needs of its residents, it becomes a great place that attracts more people to live in State College. The mall makes Penn State an attractive university. It may help more high school graduates to choose Penn State for their college education. Penn State will be recognized by more people. This attention can be a reason for Penn State to ask for more government funding to make it a more competitive public university. Also, the completed community configuration attracts more professors to stay in State College. With higher quality of professors, more selective student body and more government funding, Penn State’s education will have a higher value. There are several ways to help to build up the local shopping area. First, the government can put out a survey to the student body in Penn state and the local residents to find out what kind of shops and mall they want. This survey is achievable since the population is centralized in certain areas. Second, the government should talk to certain companies that is recommended by
the residents and provides discount in taxes and rent to encourage them to settle in State College. Third, government can start to pick a place for the new shopping area. This will create a great amount of jobs for the locals. The building of a diverse shopping area doesn't just benefit the costumers. It creates hundreds of job for the community and makes Penn state an attractive college for applicants. Also, the tax revenue will provide a strong source for the government. It’s a win-win solution. Thank you so much for spending your precious time in reading this suggestion Best regards, Tianhui Chen
"Electronic Shopping and Mail-Order Houses-Total and E-Commerce Sales by Merchandise Line." 2012 Statistical Abstract: Online Retail Sales. United States Census Bureau, 2008. Web. 15 Apr. 2012. <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/cats/wholesale_retail_trade/online_retail_sales.h tml>.
News Release: New BEA Economic Areas for 2004. United States Department of Commerce, 17 Nov. 2004. Web. 15 Apr. 2012. <http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/regional/rea/rea1104.htm>.
"Selected Economic Characteristics." American FactFinder. U.S. Census Bureau, 2008. Web. 15 Apr. 2012. <http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_1 0_3YR_DP03&prodType=table>.
State College, PA Economy at a Glance. United States Department of Labor, 13 Apr. 2012. Web. 15 Apr. 2012. <http://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.pa_statecollege_msa.htm>.
"Total Population." American FactFinder. U.S. Census Bureau, 2008. Web. 15 Apr. 2012. <http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_1 0_3YR_B01003&prodType=table>.
Reference Shops in downtown http://www.downtownstatecollege.com/category_display?query=Shopping++Clothing%2C+Hat%2C+%26amp%3B+Shoe+Stores Shops in Nittany Mall http://shopnittanymall.com/directory