A (Super)market Failure

Why are inner city residents paying more for groceries?
June 10, 2004, 6am PDT | Connie Chung
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Residents in the South and West Sides of Chicago are forced to commute long distances to access cheaper and better quality food. "Big grocery stores are few and far between in Chicago's inner city....The shortage is taking a toll on the already-strained finances of low-income city residents and damaging their health." As a consequence of the shortage of bigger grocery stores, "Chicagoans with the least amount of disposable income shop at smaller neighborhood stores and pay considerably higher grocery prices than more affluent North Siders or suburbanites do."

According to the article, the heart of the debate is questioning whether big chains are making legitimate business decisions by not operating stores in economically disinvested areas, or if grocers are "staying away because their corporate decision-making is marred by racial stereotypes, flawed economic data and a dedication to a business model that works in suburbia but will not directly transfer to the inner city...."

Thanks to Connie Chung

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Published on Sunday, June 6, 2004 in The Chicago Tribune
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