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2013-01-04 at 16:05

Calling for Costco

By Jeff Labine, tbnewswatch.com
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THUNDER BAY -- Mayor Keith Hobbs says residents leaving town for shopping trips is driving him crazy.

Keeping shoppers and their money in the city was a key message behind a recent Facebook post the mayor made after returning from vacation. In the post he wished that 2013 will be the year for less violence, building the city economy and landing a deal to build a Costco Wholesale.

Hobbs said he’s talked to a few developers, but no one officially from Costco.

Despite that, the mayor remains optimistic that he and the city could finally attract the large retail store to the city.

“We have to promote Thunder Bay better and promote shopping,” Hobbs said. “It’s not just a Costco. To do that we have to get what Duluth has here and make Thunder Bay a regional shopping area.

"I would like to see a Costco, maybe a Kohl's and all those big box stores that are attracting all those shoppers down to Duluth.”

And the mayor isn't buying the theory that big box stores hurt small and local businesses.

The city has three Wal-Marts and will soon have a Toys 'R' Us and a Target. Hobbs argues those big box stores will only compete among themselves and will not have a significant impact on the smaller local businesses.

The Bay and Algoma Street area is a prime example of local businesses doing well despite the city having three Wal-Marts.

If the city did get a Costco, Hobbs would like to see it by the highway close to the Real Canadian Superstore.

“We have a corridor already if you look at where the Thunder Centre is,” he said. “We have Superstore and that whole area seems to be a big box store corridor. Obviously, we aren’t going to put them in the downtown cores.

"You’re always going to have Ontario Municipal Board hearings on competition. I’m not afraid of that. We have to look at progress."

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Comments

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countrychick says:
I say BRING IT ON!!!!! :)
1/4/2013 4:40:37 PM
Dontlistentome says:
I realize our mayor has his 3 or 4 negative commentors on here, and they are prolific commentors at that. Keith had been nothing but true to his word, doing more for tbay than Peterson ever did. I completely agree with the notion that the so-called local businesses that cry foul against box stores are the same businesses selling foreign produced goods at astronomical prices. Those truly local, artisan and/or unique shops will always thrive. Kudos to another great year mayor Hobbs.
1/4/2013 4:43:46 PM
young&concerned says:
Hey welcome back! How was the trip? I can’t believe you have been gone for two years already.
There has been so much you have missed.
1/4/2013 9:49:30 PM
hahawhatajoke says:
Its not just the big name stores that take Canadian shoppers to the US, or online. The fact is the cost of living continues to raise in this Province. People are very much in search of the most "bang for their buck" so to speak. You want to keep Thunder Bay shoppers in Thunder Bay? Then you better take a strong look at make the prices more competitive! Bottom line is way to many products (same products) are available for alot cheaper elsewhere!
1/4/2013 4:49:43 PM
loudmouth101 says:
Hobbs ... you get us a Costco .... I'll shake your hand and say thank you, Sir :)
1/4/2013 4:51:44 PM
largedogowner says:
It is about time!!!
1/4/2013 4:53:01 PM
damanisback says:
I will still go to duluth in the summer because they have a real water front entertainment/hotel district . No skate rink needed.Kleen up this filthy town and revive the downtown cores,P.A is allready starting,F.W not so much.Rid this city of Drugs and crime Before the population explodes from the Ring of Fire development,and we turn into a nothing but a dump filled with beer bottles and needles.
1/4/2013 4:58:24 PM
young&concerned says:
I find it ironic that Hobbs would want a Costco! Oh right, that is a store were everything is in bulk just like his unkept promises and excuses...in bulk!
1/4/2013 5:07:58 PM
CGA says:
Can't wait for all the "buy local" apologists to have their say here. I fully support this. Imagine that, another competitor in town! Great news.
1/4/2013 5:17:19 PM
Storm says:
They don't print my comments any more so i dont bother...but upon seeing his grinning mug ... i had to say...until this town gets an enlightened city council we are doomed. Yes Mr. Robs that will fit in just great with the 3 Mallwarts. Obviously you could care less about the small ma and pa businesses that gave you your job and built this town....Hob your boat is sinking sinking sinking...
1/4/2013 5:19:34 PM
dozerman says:
If not a COSCO maybe a SAMS. I live over two hours from Thunder Bay so buying in bulk appeals to me.
1/4/2013 5:27:16 PM
matt1981 says:
Sam's Club left Canada in 2009. Costco had an almost 10 year head start on Sam's Club, and the Superstore were cited as reasons for Sam's Club leaving.
1/7/2013 11:24:17 AM
Gord says:
dontlistentome - name one thing Hobb's did that he promised? Did he reduce crime? His Walkabout Days died pretty quick? I'm not a hater but don't make these categorical statements unless you can back them up. I think he works hard and I believe he means well, but he sure hasn't been very productive while in office. I don't think you can say he has been better than Peterson and in fact, he has acted the fool once too often for my liking.
1/4/2013 5:28:55 PM
SadPanda says:
I'd never leave
1/4/2013 5:59:06 PM
jwduncan says:
About time someone said it what we all been thinking. I support your thinking Mayor on this one.
1/4/2013 6:12:01 PM
narcolepticjess says:
noooooooo.
we need to support Thunder Bay.
look at how many farms we have around here.
and the only thing your going to get at a place like that is crap. and will only cause health problems.
we need to encourage healthier living.
PLUS.
there is a perfectly good wholesaler in PA. that doesn't require a membership.
1/4/2013 6:23:41 PM
big joe mufferaw says:
You've obviously never shopped at a Costco. Higher quality than Walmart, options that we currently don't have and the lack of which results in outshopping...and, this is a far fairer employer than Walmart...we can encourage healthier living by providing options and educating...this will be good for Thunder Bay...and Walmart shoppers...you can expect a further price drop when the competition arrives...
1/5/2013 10:45:16 AM
Random says:
yeeeesssss.
Costco will help Thunder Bay...it will drive prices down helping the local working population that pays the higher taxes to support the 20+ thousand new additions to our city who don't work or pay taxes or do anything.
1/6/2013 6:41:00 PM
User says:
How about you tackle the violent crime problem first mr mayor?
1/4/2013 7:15:12 PM
The Badger Mountain Hermit says:
COSTCO will cut thru the remaining small local retailers like a samurai sword.
1/4/2013 7:26:17 PM
jonthunder says:
I could be mistaken; but, was Costco not allowed to set-up shop here due to conditions City Council granted to Superstore? If so, City Council should just come clean about the issue and what it plans to do.
1/4/2013 7:31:26 PM
SomeGuy says:
Unless there is a specific by-law granting them exclusivity somehow then no. If there was a by-law it could easily overturn that law in court since the city can not restrict a business from opening, the only stipulation would be operating on land properly zoned for it.
1/4/2013 9:22:27 PM
Tiredofit says:
It was actually Walmart that had filed the complaint stating it would impact the and other large retailers like the Superstore. However since they took over two of the now defunct Zellers and Target is arriving, they don't have a leg to stand on. I for one say bring it on.
1/6/2013 10:43:54 AM
watching & waiting says:
I hope the mayor will arrange for city buses to service the future costco site. Thunder Centre, does not have bus service. It does not even have sidewalks or street lights to use when you have to walk back to Ft Wm Rd to catch a bus at Intercity mall.
1/4/2013 8:30:47 PM
ring of fire dude says:
Hobbs should hand this one over to Chief Collins over at FWFN . That way none of the other big boxes can complain and it would bring revenue and jobs to FWFN . INMore
1/4/2013 8:52:37 PM
Murillorules says:
Ya the Quality Markets shutting down had nothing to do with 3 Walmarts
1/4/2013 9:25:43 PM
Baor says:
I doubt they did, nothing much different from the Zellers they replaced. North wood and Westfort foods are not dying....perhaps Quality Market just mismanaged themselves.
1/5/2013 1:09:42 AM
big joe mufferaw says:
Costco will bring more regional shoppers to Thunder Bay and every business will benefit. Costco has also demonstrated that it is good employer. A Costco will offset the monopoly that Walmart is attempting to build. We all win with Costco. My support for Mayor Hobbs has gone up exponentially.
1/4/2013 10:11:18 PM
sprintfan says:
Amazing this guy. During the BS Show of dictating a location for a new arena (ultimately picking the worst and major loser location),they stressed supporting local business. Now out the other side of his mouth,its lets lure another big box to siphon more dollars out of here! Very consistent Keith,talk out both sides of your mouth as usual! Local or chain,serve me and give me a decent price and I'll buy from you.
1/4/2013 10:22:21 PM
ohnoyoudidnt says:
This makes me happy. No more long drives to Winnipeg or Duluth in bad weather.

*insert happy dance here*
1/4/2013 10:45:22 PM
brooky says:
Hobbs has absolutely no business solicitating retailers to our town. Since whe did this become part of any mayors job?
1/4/2013 11:12:35 PM
Sui Generis says:
Expanding upon existing city infrastructure and mediating for growth has ALWAYS been a mayors job.
1/5/2013 3:41:55 AM
big joe mufferaw says:
This is absolutely part of his job. Every mayor in recent history has done just this...involved themselves in the local economy by attracting (or in some cases repelling) business to our town...an additional employer, an attractive business for tourists and increased choice in product.... how is this a bad plan????
1/5/2013 10:48:45 AM
brooky says:
OK. I want a Hooters here. Should I contact the mayor about this?
1/5/2013 11:41:15 AM
spicyicy1 says:
Costco will have more local product in their store than most small businesses crying the blues...Check out a few local retail places and see what you find NOT made in China, India, Vietnam, blah blah blah....
1/4/2013 11:20:15 PM
bluebear1985 says:
I really hope that Costco doesn't come. Sure, it's great in the fact that it has practically everything you could possibly hope to shop for, but at what cost to local businesses? This would be an immediate recipe for disaster.
1/4/2013 11:32:57 PM
largedogowner says:
You are telling me if/when a Costco comes to Thunder Bay local businesses will be hurt by this?? Really? For all of the cross border shopping the residences of Thunder Bay do will not change, even if we get Costco. They will seek the entertainment life, the shopping deals Duluth and others cities offer. Thunder Bay lacks appeal in so many ways it is embarassing. The people who already shop local will continue to do so, and for the ones who don't well nothing to lose when we get these big box stores. I bet, for the shoppers who prefer to shop in Duluth are not shopping at the Ma and Pa stores and are shopping at the Big box stores. Let me save in gas and hotel money and bring Costco to Thunder Bay already. It is long over due.
1/4/2013 11:53:18 PM
Gone for good says:
It ain't all that. Try the one n Winnipeg. Overrated.
1/5/2013 3:08:01 AM
wrenchman says:
will still go south of the boarder as it is cheaper less tax or no tax on clothing and way better selection I think we up north get all last years stock
1/5/2013 7:18:59 AM
nvjgu says:
So Mr Hobbs, pleases explain to me how bringing costco here keeps money in the city other than property taxes and the few lousy part time min wage jobs. Would you work there.
1/5/2013 7:30:43 AM
humnchuck says:
Actually, Costco is often held up as an example of how to better treat employees. Rates of pay are far higher than minimum wage, Walmart, etc.
1/5/2013 5:41:02 PM
nads74 says:
Actually Costco pays their employees very well. WAY more then min wage. Get facts before you type crap.
1/6/2013 10:38:13 AM
Hey Boy says:
You know you live in a boring hick town when people are excited about a Costco. Good lord. Maybe we should clean up the streets first? We live in one of the most violent cities in Canada and all people want is another big box store to spend money they probably don't even have in. I'm all for growing th
1/5/2013 8:12:23 AM
glass half full says:
WOW all the haters on this fourm.. I feel like going on a rant today, so here it goes.....

1 - You say shop local? Are all the little shops in intercity local. hmmmmm "no"

2 - Do you work hard for your money ( I do ). I want the best deal possible, if local merchants can not work as hard as I do to earn my shopping loyalty, why should I GIVE them my business.

3 - All of the box stores hire LOCAL workers.

4 - The box stores donate back to the comunity all the time - Wal-Mart, Canadian Tire

5 - Out shopping will always exist - for the simple fact - WE ALL LIKE TO GET AWAY.

6 - Look at a company like Lowerys for example - These guys run a great business - I am sure Staples has helped keep them sharp and effecient, I would shop there over Staples any day.

7 - Just because a box store is here - You are not forced to shop there. There will always be a local merchant ready to take your money.

Mr. Hobbs Great job. I hope we get all of the box stores sonner than late
1/5/2013 8:23:29 AM
young&concerned says:
Trust me! I would love to see a Costco here in Thunder Bay. Hobbs is just an idiot that's I am getting at!
1/5/2013 2:01:51 PM
glass half full says:
young&concerned - I have asked you once in the past to quantify your statement about Hobbs being an idiot? I will help you out please answer these questions for me to help me understand.

1 - Do you think Hobbs wakes up each day with intent to do harm or good for our city?

2 - Are people ( mayors and council ) allowed to make mistakes?

3 - Have you had the opprutinity to see and live in other Canadian cities?

4 - What more could Hobbs ( as a mayor Canada ) do to not be an idiot in your mind.

5 - Is hobbs trying to bring business into this city?

I get frustrated with people when they make a blanket statement and do not back it up with facts. There are a lot of very smart coffee shop politicians around this great city. Where are all these people when it is time to vote or better yet run for office.

I am sure you have your reasons for not liking Hobbs, but he is no idiot in my opinion.
1/6/2013 8:50:08 AM
young&concerned says:
Glass half full
I responded to your post and answered all your questions. My other two post where added however this one was not. Go figure!
1/6/2013 6:34:08 PM
young&concerned says:
Cleaned up
Ok maybe not an idiot…how about delusional?
1. Maybe good intentions but never delivers. I always refer to his campaign videos he himself put out. They mysteriously have disappeared! What promise, action item has been delivered? Things he want to do/cleanup are exponentially worse (crime/taxes/spending)
2.I am so sick of hearing the Mayor can only do so much…he is only one vote! Really! So when running/campaigning for election campaign message & ads should have been “Vote me for Mayor but remember I’m only one vote…I will do what I can”
3 Yes I travel for work all the time...We are going to be bigger Kenora Ontario soon!
4. I can not answer this question honestly because this will not be published! All I will say is "idle no more" Enough said!
5. Again I am all for bring business to this city. Why would the come crime/taxes and council run around!
Do you honestly think Hobbs will run again for mayor? & if so do you really believe he will be re-elected base on performance?
1/6/2013 6:41:33 PM
big joe mufferaw says:
Well...he's no Rob Ford...I'll give him that...
1/7/2013 6:29:53 AM
john says:
Sounds like the Mayor is in re-election mode. More empty promises to come?
1/5/2013 8:53:34 AM
sam says:
This is a good demonstration of grandstanding by the mayor who thinks all it takes for costco to setup a store here is an invite from him. Costco or any other store will decide for themselves whether they want to have a store in tbay.
1/5/2013 11:18:28 AM
yellowsnow says:
Anyone that preaches 'Shop Local' better stay out of Tim Horton's and focus in Robin's.

Fat chance of that happening...
1/5/2013 11:18:38 AM
eastender says:
Robins coffe is better than Tim Hortons. I used to go to Tim Hortons all the time until they started to use a cheaper brand of coffee. I now go to Robins, Its just better coffee.
1/6/2013 11:42:12 PM
sprintfan says:
John: Re-Election? Hobbs is done!!
1/5/2013 11:30:11 AM
TBDR says:
I'll take that bet, and raise you you stop complaining when he wins
1/5/2013 9:45:26 PM
Tbay602 says:
Great work Mr. Mayor!! Get them here. 5 year tax free break in Innova business park?
1/5/2013 11:33:55 AM
tsb says:
That isn't really legal...
1/5/2013 11:41:40 PM
Thunderstruck says:
It's all about price. COSTCO is cheap. You can get these big box discounted retailers here but without reducing the prices and competing with the American pricing, it's just another store and people will still cross the border for the better deals.
1/5/2013 12:15:14 PM
hughie says:
All you people who are in favor of costco coming to town including our idiot of a mayor are stupid. Costcos prices are way more expensive than walmart superstore and target. Worry about cleaning up this filthy city hobbs! A barn looks better than this dirty town. How's the crime fighting going Hobbs!What a Joke!Pretty Pathetic when the Hobbs sheeple get excited over another lie which comes out of hobbs mouth.
1/5/2013 12:22:10 PM
rootbear says:
Not really the topic but I go to Duluth becauses it's Duluth. I don't shop there. I've never been to a Costco. But we LOVE Duluth. Canal Park is AWESOME! The waterfront is second to none. My wife & I will continue to go there for many years to come regardless what's built here. This city attracts me not.
1/5/2013 12:23:18 PM
happy guest says:
I would shop at a Costco if you had it. I travel to Winnipeg to shop at one, but Thunder Bay would be more appealing. Plus it would hire people to work at that big box store. Any other business with good products, prices and SERVICE will survive the big box stores.
1/5/2013 12:36:14 PM
ohnoyoudidnt says:
For all you now crying about the lack of health care and drug rehab programs, because of a possible Costco in our future...WHERE WERE YOU WHEN THE BLOODY MULTIPLEX TALKS WERE GOING ON??? Now suddenly you care about others well being?

Light must have went on in your head. Wants VS needs.

Bring on the Costco! Large families need one here. The local farms/stores I shop now I will always shop with. I think they have earned my loyalty and money.

This town lacks direction and pride
1/5/2013 1:32:10 PM
SomeGuy says:
Maybe next someone can work on getting an Olive Garden & Red Lobster here then Thunder Bayer's dreams of a real grown up city will be complete!
1/5/2013 2:29:45 PM
captain says:
This is what constitutes news in Thunder Bay and it has more comments than other actual news stories.

It is not a story on Costco coming to Thunder Bay. It is not a story that the Mayor met with Costco representatives about coming to T.Bay.

No this story is about the Mayor saying he wants a Costco.

This city is in the middle of nowhere and unfortunately, it is reflected in far too many things.

I wonder if anyone here knows what news actually is.
1/5/2013 4:39:15 PM
almosttheworkingpoor says:
I've never commented on a story before but this one compels me too. I shop in Duluth because I can get all my groceries for literally, and no exaggeration here, for almost half the price. Even factoring gas and exchange it's still considerably cheaper to shop in the states. Explain to me Mayor Hobbs how a Cosco is going to lower prices on basic needs like groceries. Why I can get the same products in the states, at their regular price, for dollars less than our "sale" prices. Nothing angers me more than seeing the exact same brand products in the states that we have here for half the price. Yes, lets bring on Cosco! Thunder Bay will NEVER be like Duluth, and that's because it's in Ontario!
1/5/2013 6:43:22 PM
Kam River says:
Please take an minute and look at this image. Which benifits you and I more
Tbnewswatch.com

1/5/2013 6:49:45 PM
passlake says:
Costco runs a good business and that can rarely be a bad thing for the community.

I'd prefer them to a Wal-Mart anyday.
1/5/2013 9:01:01 PM
nvjgu says:
%15 tax and prices makes me think twice about buying something in Canada. expecially big ticket car's house's etc.
1/5/2013 9:48:54 PM
karl_hungus says:
somebody always has to bring up Olive Garden and Red Lobster. They are the Mcdonalds of Italian and Seafood restaurants. Nothing special.
1/5/2013 10:55:44 PM
SomeGuy says:
I was trying to be sarcastic, I think there horrid chain restaurants, there is much better local places.
1/7/2013 10:03:37 PM
Just Sayin' says:
Part of the character I like about Thunder Bay is that it does not have all the Box Stores of Southern Ontario. We keep bringing in Costco's and other chains (soon to be Texas Lone Star Grill - even though we have a great local restaurant scene). The more box stores we add, the more we look like everywhereville (i.e. GTA). What we should be spending our money on is how we make our local retailers more competitive, niche, and profitable or get people making minimum wage to get entrepreneurial and start their own business if there are gaps in the market to keep wealth here. I've worked at Head Office of major retailers and restaurants. They don't give a rats ass about integrating local products into their mix making it harder for all businesses to get a good start and scale up. I'm looking forward to this shotty Mayor of ours to do what's best, step down before you hurt the City any further.
1/6/2013 12:28:24 AM
Mazda323 says:
Young&concerned,, you sound exactly like the old&bitter jimmyboy ( whose mayor hating absence has been much appreciated!).
1/6/2013 8:09:48 AM
young&concerned says:
Do I? Well you will only have a little less than 2 years worth justifiable, self imposed negativity/hating brought on by our own dear mayor. And in two years things will be that much worse.

1/6/2013 5:52:30 PM
cherubrock says:
Getting tired of the mayor's one one sided opinions and tunnel vision. Also, why is his picture posted on this site every five minutes. Can we not find people with credentials to weigh in on these various topics?
1/6/2013 11:31:03 AM
The Beaver..... says:
You might just get what you wish for....
130 Advil for $ 18 thats more then i used in my lifetime..24 crest tooth paste..hmm and it goes on and on..so put all of that on your shelf,and on your credit card at 19 to 24 % plus the fee and what have you got.Cosco carries 4000 items Walmart
14000 and most major Grocery stores between 10000 and 12000 items.What you really need is a smarter Mayor instead of this bumbling idiot.
1/6/2013 1:44:23 PM
young&concerned says:
Instead of bring in Cosco to this city...Hobbs should bring in the Army!
1/6/2013 5:59:25 PM
Mazda323 says:
Looking forward to seeing your name on the ballot next election. See if you can do the job any better
1/7/2013 8:16:16 AM
ALK says:
Are some of you trying to say that places that have a Costco or other big box stores in their towns, no long have any local retailers??!! I don't think so. Duluth and Superior have lots along with full access to big box stores. I shop local when I can but I truly believe that if you have quality product and great customer service, you will not go out of business.
1/7/2013 8:45:33 AM
localdog says:
Many local small businesses are not affected by the Walmarts, Cosco's etc because they deal in specialty services or carry specialty items (specific brand clothing, hobby supplies, athletic equipment etc) that the generic big box made-in-china poorly-made-product stores don't carry. If a local retailer decides to open a store selling the same items found at Walmart well then, that's kind of their own stupidity, isn't it?
1/7/2013 2:05:06 PM
alrightythen says:
i say bring on any kind of new stores. i'm tired of having no selection or choice on where to shop. our mall is a huge disappointment. i say yes to target AND if we actually get a costco, yes to that too... walmart has a monopoly over thunder bay and i'd like some more choices on where to go when it comes to shopping.
1/7/2013 4:03:57 PM
tsb says:
You realize that there are, like, 200 locally owned stores in this city, right? Walmart only has a monopoly on lazy shoppers.
1/7/2013 10:11:40 PM
oldtimerqt says:
Cosco will build if they have a strong return on their invested dollars
1/7/2013 10:40:06 PM
spooky1761 says:
bring in a costco to thunder bay? yes no? its a heated ? but let me say this about "local" retailers they have to offer service and a more competive price. 2 examples: 1st home show of 2012 went to a local merchant to get a price quote and almost a year later no response from retailer and thats "service" and we went back a number of times, so we we went south and saved....2nd local retailer selling a patio door for $1500.00 on sale for $1256 but at menards it sold for $546 so local retailer are competive? so bring on costco mr mayor..lets see more competion
1/8/2013 6:51:35 AM
countryboy123 says:
I used to work for a small local retail business here in Thunder Bay and I can tell you that these big box stores most definately do have an impact on local businesses. For one example Wal- Mart sells several models of Garmin GPS's for less than we could by them for as a dealer for Garmin! By the way we went out of business. Hope you read this Mr. Mayor if you are not too busy shopping at Wal-Mart that is.
1/8/2013 1:35:35 PM
alrightythen says:
Walmart is now the closest store to my home. If there WAS still a local grocery store in the county fair mall I would be more likely to shop at a local store. I have walmart, safeway, metro and shoppers somewhat within my area. Don't play the "shop local" card... Why buy a box of granola bars for 4-5 dollars if I can get it for 2 dollars elsewhere? You can say those 2-3 dollars are nothing but to a minimum wage employee struggling to make ends meet they are something.
1/8/2013 6:10:50 PM
Augustin says:
It's about time Thunder Bay got a Costco store. Why would a City like Thunder Bay want its' residents going over the border or to Winnipeg? Keep your own economy booming and residents employed. Location of choice would be out Hwy. 61 towards the old Uncle Frank's restaurant. A Costco store needs lots of parking. Have you thought about trying to get an IKEA store in town? Look into that one as well otherwise residents will head to Winnipeg or TO. Looking forward to new places to shop!
1/8/2013 7:09:52 PM
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