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Successful Failure

August 14, 1988

The closing of Gateway Marketplace after only nine months of operations is nothing less than a success. Like so many other things placed in the Southeast community, Marketplace was designed to fail.

The project is another farce presented to the people as a fulfillment of hope, surrounded by the illusions of jobs and sold to the public by those who have made a career of misleading the Southeast community.

The real issue is land: its ownership and usage. It is the community's most valued asset and the one over which they exercise the least control. Marketplace had too much space for a new venture in what was, for it, a new area, resulting in high overhead and poor management.

It hosted fairs and bazaars and sponsored contests with large cash prizes, but it did not exert much effort to sell groceries. The primary ingredient of its marketing strategy was to get a few local ministers to pose for a photograph at the store and a few local elected officials to walk a portion of one day, door to door, asking people to shop there. And with this type of marketing, they projected a 12-month break-even period. Now, the victims of this machination are being misled into believing the failure of Marketplace is our fault . . . when in fact Marketplace did what it was designed to do--fail--and in that regard, it was successful!

ROBERT C. ARD

Pastor, Christ Church of San Diego

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