Britain’s Main Streets Fast Becoming Ghost Towns

Date: 1 Feb 2004 | posted in: Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

"A new retail feudalism is emerging across Britain as a handful of brands take over our shopping. We are witnessing the slow death of small independent retailers," contends Andrew Simms, policy director for the London-based New Economics Foundation (NEF) and co-author of a new report called "Ghost Town Britain: The threat from economic globalisation to livelihoods, liberty and local economic freedom." According to the report, between 1995 and 2000, Britain lost one-fifth of its Main Street enterprises. … Read More

Brattleboro Group Urges Residents to Support Local Merchants

Date: 1 Feb 2004 | posted in: Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Last year when Home Depot announced that it would open in a former Ames department store building in Brattleboro, Vermont, a group of residents organized a campaign urging people to avoid the store and continue supporting their hometown merchants. The group, BrattPower: Supporting Our Local Economy, gathered 3,200 petition signatures in this town of 12,000, organized a community forum, and began running radio and newspaper ads outlining the hidden costs of large chain stores and the benefits of locally owned businesses.… Read More

Massive Retail Expansion Could Harm Maine’s Economy

Date: 11 Jan 2004 | posted in: Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Developers have announced plans to construct well over 2 million square feet of large retail stores in Maine over the coming months. Wal-Mart is planning a supercenter in Westbrook and perhaps another in Topsham. Lowe’s building supply is aiming at Brunswick. A 460,000-square-foot project, including Lowe’s and Target, is slated for Biddeford. HomeDepot has a site in Topsham. More than 900,000 square feet of retail is planned for Augusta, including a Lowe’s superstore and an expansion of The Marketplace that will house Best Buy, Kohl’s and others. And with the defeat of two zoning ordinance amendments in Kennebunk, that town may soon have a Stop & Shop supermarket. … Read More

Does Wal-Mart Really Need Our Tax Dollars?

Date: 1 Dec 2003 | posted in: Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Typical of shopping centers built decades ago, Alameda Square in Denver is a cheap, single-story strip of stores. It’s ugly and rundown. But that does not deter shoppers. Mostly Asian Americans, shoppers come from miles around to patronize more than a dozen Asian-owned businesses, including two grocery stores, two restaurants, a hair salon, a clothing shop, a jeweler and a bakery. On a weekday afternoon, the parking lot buzzes with activity. Inside Pacific Ocean International Supermarket, the dingy exterior gives way to bright lights, shelves stocked with canned bamboo shoots and dried fish and aisles of shoppers. Most of Alameda Square’s businesses are profitable. Together they generate about $125,000 a year in sales tax revenue. But if the city of Denver has its way, these small businesses will be evicted to make way for a Wal-Mart super-center. … Read More

Austin Coalition Forces Wal-Mart Retreat, City Agrees to Big Box Study

Date: 1 Nov 2003 | posted in: Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Faced with strong opposition from a broad array of organizations and residents, Wal-Mart has abandoned plans to build a 24-hour supercenter on an ecologically sensitive site in southwest Austin. The 43-acre wooded tract sits over the Edwards Aquifer, the largest underground reservoir in Texas. It feeds Barton Springs and supplies drinking water to thousands of people. Initially, opposition to Wal-Mart centered on its choice of location and the impact polluted parking lot runoff would have on the aquifer. … Read More

California Communities Embroiled in Supercenter Debates

Date: 1 Nov 2003 | posted in: Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Voters in Contra Costa County, California, will decide in March whether to keep a law banning supercenters from unincorporated areas in the county. Contra Costa County is home to about one million people and lies east of the San Francisco Bay area. The law, which was approved unanimously by the County Board of Supervisors in June, prohibits stores over 90,000 square feet that devote more than five percent of their floor space to groceries. … Read More

Big Box Wins and Losses on Election Day

Date: 1 Nov 2003 | posted in: Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Voters in Lakeway, Texas, about 20 miles west of Austin, overwhelmingly rejected a resolution to allow the construction of a 48-acre shopping center anchored by a 184,00-square-foot Wal-Mart store. The election drew the largest turnout in Lakeway history with residents voting 1,880 to 749 to block the development by retaining the town’s current 100,000-square-foot size limit on retail stores. The city council had earlier voted to lift the size cap and grant preliminary approval to the project. … Read More

Alabama Citizens Sue to Block Wal-Mart Giveaways

Date: 1 Nov 2003 | posted in: Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Owners of a small business in Birmingham, Alabama, near the site of a proposed Wal-Mart supercenter, have filed suit against the city for giving the retailing giant a $10 million subsidy. Southeast Meats of Pelham, in operation for over two decades, contends the handout gives Wal-Mart an unfair advantage. The suit also asserts that the city improperly threatened to use eminent domain to force owners of the Wal-Mart property to sell.… Read More

Independent Pharmacists Fight Discriminatory Health Plans

Date: 1 Nov 2003 | posted in: Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Pennsylvania pharmacists are up in arms over a new health plan for state workers that bars them from filling prescriptions at locally owned drugstores, requiring instead that they use Rite Aid or a mail order service. The plan is run by a pharmacy benefit management company (PBM), which the state says will reduce costs by negotiating lower drug prices. In exchange, employees must accept restrictions on where they fill their prescriptions. … Read More

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