Arrival of Big Boxes Serves As Point of Pride in Detroit

Tanveer Ali sees Detroit, where the impending arrival of retail behemoths has been greeted with enthusiasm by a city in desperate need of jobs and retail outlets, as an interesting test case for theories about the economic value of big-box stores

In a city that has been without a brand-name supermarket since 2007 and not even a Kmart, which got its start there, can be found within the city limits, a counter-narrative has developed surrounding plans for urban big-box stores in which, "Detroit activists hope these outlets will pave the way for new businesses, either other brand-name retailers or smaller, home-bred ones."

According to Ali, "It's easy to focus on labor policies or chains' competitive advantage over the smaller guy in flourishing communities, but the story is different in areas where not much else exists. Detroit residents have largely embraced chains not only as a source of jobs, also an expression of confidence in their city, about which they remain fiercely proud."

Full Story: In Detroit, Big-Box Stores Aren't the Enemy—They're a Source of Pride


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