Thursday, June 18, 2009

Retail in Detroit: problem or opportunity?

The Wallstreet Journal has a piece about lack of national retail chains in the city of Detroit.

it goes in how lack of retailers is a problem for the city and that true, the city could use a lot more retailers but article focuses on national chain stores only and that misses a lot of the business in the city.

Just because there aren't national grocery stores doesn't mean their are there aren't grocery stores in the D or place to get fresh fruit's and vegetables in Motown

Even though a lot of business stay away form Detroit due to it image and that has effect the city negatively, there are still many small mom and pop business that run in the city.

And maybe having local chains and mom & pop store instead of having big box stores coming into the city is actually a good thing for Detroit.

I've notice that when a big chain comes to one's area people tend to think about the fact that those stores will lead to new jobs. The truth is that these stores usually end up killing of local small business (by lowering prices until the mom & pop stores can't compete) and doing so probably just shift as much jobs (the people that worked at the local store have to get a job somewhere) more then they create new ones.

also it has been shown that stores such as walmart actually cost tax payers, giving that many cities give those types of stores big tax breaks hoping to get them to build in their town and yet in causes like wallmart their jobs or so low paying or give such bad health coverage that many of their employers have to be placed on welfare.

also by their nature of having head quarters in other part of the country (or even world) big chain retailers actually end up funnel money out side of the city their stores are in.

With a track record like that I have a hard time seeing why the lack of such a store is seen as a bad thing, when it seems not having stores like this would be a good thing for local economies.

Instead of looking at the fact that Detroit doesn't have big chain stores in the city as a problem for the city, the lack of these stores should be seen as a clean(er) slate that the city can build a good economy on by fostering local and small business and it this should also be a place for people who want to start to business or co-op to go to.

it seems that the city of Detroit is actually trying to build it's local business base with a number of programs

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