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Old 07-23-2007, 01:26 PM
 
Location: VA
786 posts, read 4,228,809 times
Reputation: 1071

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I am old enough to remember the good old days where there was few if any:

Mega-stores (Target, Walmart Home-depot, Lowes, Borders, etc)
Chain Restaurants (TGIF, Ruby Tuesdays, Bennigans, etc)
Huge Indoor Malls

My parents tell me those were the "good old days" Food was better at the restaurants, service better at the stores, people made more money in retail and were proud to be working there and people shopped Downtown.

Now days thousands of acres of woods and wetlands have been tore down for these huge long retail strips and mega stores. People have forgotten what good food is and are use to eating frozen food at these generic chain restaurants. It seems like a waste.

What do you think about the mega stores and chains taking over all restaruants and retail?
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Old 07-23-2007, 01:48 PM
 
Location: gilbert az "move me to Boise"
341 posts, read 1,518,037 times
Reputation: 157
Hi - we are in our early 50"s so we are pretty young still and I can tell you - I hate these large chains - the food is usually old, dirty, the items manhandled on the shelves, - they get you crazy "looking" for the best deals - and they have forced the family owned business out of business - this was the backbone of America -
I personally still try to shop in NOn chain stores - I like small business, farmers markets, fresh, new goods - the personal touch
And it is a shame to see the land being eaten up by these monstrosities - which cause more sub divisions and more beauty of the land destroyed - amazing how we all survived in the 60's and 70's without all of this - and we can't now for some reason.
My child will not shop chains - he also looks for the smaller business' - likes to get to know the people and enjoys getting calls when his latest game comes in, book arrives...
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Old 07-23-2007, 01:49 PM
 
5,640 posts, read 16,932,091 times
Reputation: 3963
I wouldn't say food was better. It sure is easier to get a decent cup of coffee now.
The one thing I miss is the mom and pop department stores. Now everything is on it's way to being owned by federated or walmart. Everyone wears the same clothes. You have to hunt for a cute little boutique (that has reasonable prices) in order to get something nice.
And it seems that the big retail chain clothing stores have also cheapened their clothing too. Seems these days everything I buy shrinks so badly. And I haven't changed the way I wash clothes in 20 years.
Grocery stores - mostly better. Although chicago area has a number of local chains we shop at - that remind me of when the local chains were that small. i.e. carry ethnic food, deli, and bakery, etc.
And I still go mostly to the local hardware store rather than the big boxes for hardware because I can get help there and can get in and out quickly.
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Old 07-23-2007, 02:24 PM
 
5,092 posts, read 9,604,630 times
Reputation: 3941
I do not think the big picture is even "better or worse" anymore.

More like is this pattern sustainable or survivable?

I have to score those as No.

It is based on the (short-term only) capacity of the US to go into ever increasing foreign debt. The big box stores rely on big container shipments of overseas products. Those products are paid for by ever cheaper debt notes we call dollars. As they become more and more worthless internationally we will have to send more and more, until they become as worthless as the paper they are printed on.

(Already happening in the international energy markets)

By the time this happens in the production and retail side, we will have exported much of our own production capacity to the point that we will not be able to supply our demand from local sources, and not able to trade further into debt with the foreign suppliers.

But our landfills will full of the cheap junk we have traded the future for.

However, the process is VERY profitable in the short-term for the folks on our top end.
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Old 07-23-2007, 04:14 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles, Ca
2,884 posts, read 5,040,304 times
Reputation: 2725
The big box stores are ok, but they're all so homogenized and cookie cutter.

I was in the market the other day...they all play the same music, same lighting, same decor, same everything...there's no life to them. There's no risk taking.

I like music, but background music in stores is a pet peeve..its always worn out top 40 from 20 years ago.

Does anyone want to listen to Celine Dion while they go grocery shopping?!?
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Old 07-24-2007, 09:07 PM
 
Location: Sacramento
13,755 posts, read 23,223,535 times
Reputation: 6092
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dingler View Post
I am old enough to remember the good old days where there was few if any:

Mega-stores (Target, Walmart Home-depot, Lowes, Borders, etc)
Chain Restaurants (TGIF, Ruby Tuesdays, Bennigans, etc)
Huge Indoor Malls

My parents tell me those were the "good old days" Food was better at the restaurants, service better at the stores, people made more money in retail and were proud to be working there and people shopped Downtown.

Now days thousands of acres of woods and wetlands have been tore down for these huge long retail strips and mega stores. People have forgotten what good food is and are use to eating frozen food at these generic chain restaurants. It seems like a waste.

What do you think about the mega stores and chains taking over all restaruants and retail?
I remember the "good old days" a little differently than you. I like the mega-stores, better prices and more consistency. The best independents still survive and flourish, I see many out here in San Francisco and Sacramento. Nothing beats competition to improve life.
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Old 07-25-2007, 12:18 PM
 
2,775 posts, read 2,580,475 times
Reputation: 2967
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dingler View Post
I am old enough to remember the good old days where there was few if any:
Mega-stores (Target, Walmart Home-depot, Lowes, Borders, etc)
Chain Restaurants (TGIF, Ruby Tuesdays, Bennigans, etc)
Huge Indoor Malls
My parents tell me those were the "good old days" Food was better at the restaurants, service better at the stores, people made more money in retail and were proud to be working there and people shopped Downtown.
Now days thousands of acres of woods and wetlands have been tore down for these huge long retail strips and mega stores. People have forgotten what good food is and are use to eating frozen food at these generic chain restaurants. It seems like a waste.
What do you think about the mega stores and chains taking over all restaruants and retail?
I think it's a negative trend. Sure people will talk about more uniform/predictable experiences, lower prices, and the convenience of having more of what you think you need in one place. The reality is quite different:

#1 - The money that you give to these companies does not route back to the local economies of the stores/restaurants. The majority of the money goes right into the pockets of the dozen or so executives which run these companies. Local business owners typically spend the money they earn locally - thus the cycle of supply and demand balances out locally for mom/pop and family owned operations.
#2 - products and ingredients are sourced from lowest cost sources rather than quality sources for large companies - especially corporations who are answering to shareholders that just want to see increases in revenue and profit quarter to quarter. This means offshore factories and farmers are used. That means not only are you getting a lower quality product or ingredient in some situations, but in all situations like this more of the local-economy money is leaving town.
#3 - These companies utilize far fewer vendors for their needs than a local or smaller scale business. Instead they contract with the largest vendors who can supply more for less (they standardize their supply chains globally). What this means is that fewer companies are engaged in supporting the big businesses/big chain restaurants. What this means is that fewer companies benefit from the existance of wal-mart's or olive garden's than from the existance of several equivalent locally owned companies likely to utilize many more vendors.
#4 - Big companies can and do engage in predatory business practices while pursuing bigger revenue and profit. It is well documented that certain companies have built stores in a vicinity, and then lowered their prices to unprofitable levels to drive out competitors (then once a monopoly is established, they generally raise prices beyond levels ever seen before in the area). Locally owned businesses cannot and generally do not do this.
#5 - Because of the constant pursuit of increasing revenue and profit for shareholders, big businesses never stop expanding nor cost-cutting. Family owned businesses can on the other hand reach a point of "being happy" - serving the local economy while the owners do plenty well enough to be happy. A balance can be achieved with the latter.
#6 - Big Business has no interest in making a local economy better - they just don't. Local Business owners tend to get involved with their community - and contribute to it.

These are just a few ideas that came to my mind.
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Old 07-25-2007, 09:03 PM
 
Location: Burlington, VT
483 posts, read 1,747,060 times
Reputation: 241
The Good Old Days were great if you lived in an area with a variety of stores. Otherwise, you had to deal with whatever was available, which could be pretty bad. A lot of the stores that Wal*Mart "killed" might have survived if they hadn't built up years of resentment with "take it or leave it" pricing, service, and hours.
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Old 07-25-2007, 09:12 PM
 
Location: Old Town Alexandria
14,506 posts, read 23,188,178 times
Reputation: 8832
Quote:
Originally Posted by LVGAZ View Post
Hi - we are in our early 50"s so we are pretty young still and I can tell you - I hate these large chains - the food is usually old, dirty, the items manhandled on the shelves, - they get you crazy "looking" for the best deals - and they have forced the family owned business out of business - this was the backbone of America -
I personally still try to shop in NOn chain stores - I like small business, farmers markets, fresh, new goods - the personal touch
And it is a shame to see the land being eaten up by these monstrosities - which cause more sub divisions and more beauty of the land destroyed - amazing how we all survived in the 60's and 70's without all of this - and we can't now for some reason.
My child will not shop chains - he also looks for the smaller business' - likes to get to know the people and enjoys getting calls when his latest game comes in, book arrives...
I agree- I am sick of big box stores and Applebees/Fridays/Ruby Tuesdays. I miss small boutiques and eclectic restaurants- unfortunately in the middle of nowhere in middle America- the big box stores are forced down our throat.

I am saving alot of money now, shop at boutiques on vacation only. Then when I finally move out of middle America I will be able to enjoy diversity again!. I cant evenn get decent Chinese food where I live now- who ever heard of southern Chinese buffet???-lol.

sunny
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Old 07-25-2007, 09:17 PM
 
743 posts, read 1,151,842 times
Reputation: 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dingler View Post
I am old enough to remember the good old days where there was few if any:

Mega-stores (Target, Walmart Home-depot, Lowes, Borders, etc)
Chain Restaurants (TGIF, Ruby Tuesdays, Bennigans, etc)
Huge Indoor Malls

My parents tell me those were the "good old days" Food was better at the restaurants, service better at the stores, people made more money in retail and were proud to be working there and people shopped Downtown.
...
What a great thread!

I think it exposes something about our society. People are sacrificing quality, customer service (now just a meaningless marketing term for most corporations), and community responsibility to save a couple of bucks. I try to frequent local small business as much as possible, but they are becoming harder to find.
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