September 26, 2009
If there's a "right" to health care, then what about the "right" to buy groceries?
Here's a charming picture from a local news story:
When I moved from a relatively affluent Philadelphia suburb to a relatively affluent Michigan college town I took for granted what most of us take for granted -- the easy availability of food. In the form of nearby grocery stores. So it shocked me to see long lines suddenly appear at the nearest grocery store to me without any explanation, and to be see them sold out of not one but three things on my shopping list.
Yesterday I learned that another nearby Krogers grocery store (which had been there for 30 years) had closed. It's not that it's a huge deal for me, but still I wondered why. The population and demographics of this town do not seem to have changed. Whether the population base of that particular Krogers had suddenly ceased to support it after 30 years, I don't know.
I just hope this doesn't represent a trend towards fewer stores, because that would mean longer lines, things sold out, longer distances to stores.
A Krogers closure in Toledo has infuriated patrons to the point where they are actually organizing in protest. I realize there's no right to have a store in your neighborhood, but this is the kind of thing that does affect property values, and lower property values in turn mean fewer grocery stores. (In Detroit, for example, there simply are no national grocery stores at all, and of course there's little likelihood of.... change.)
Whether this comment to the Toledo story is true I don't know:
Kroger has lost also due to shop lifting and "Shrinkage" of inventory which happens when emp[loyees and their friends and family take merchandise out of the store without paying. This is also a large factor in other Toledo City Groceries and a big reason why there are very few large chain groceries in the Central City.You'd think something like that would be well within management's control. Employees can still be fired for stealing, can't they? Yes, and they can sue; according to an empirical study of employees who sued after being fired for theft, "the employees were victorious in 60 percent of the cases." (I don't like those odds.) So there's more to whether an area gets a grocery store than simple population demographics.
I guess I should be glad I live in an area which still has stores.
posted by Eric on 09.26.09 at 09:29 AM
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