January 27, 2019
Some facts over which you can spend your day pondering:
– One of every four malls open today is projected to close in the next five years. The vast majority of those endangered malls are in lower-income, less-densely-populated parts of the country, and are anchored by failing chains like Sears.
– As the malls empty out and foot traffic wanes, shoppers outside of large metropolitan areas will be left with few retail options beyond big box stores and a smattering of dollar stores.
– The big dollar chains, Dollar Tree and Dollar General, already have 30,000 locations (more than Walmart, Kroger, Costco, Home Depot, CVS and Walgreens — the country’s six biggest brick-and-mortar retailers — combined), and they are adding about 1,000 locations a year. These stores are located primarily in lower-income neighborhoods.
– In Chicago, the average household income of census tracts with a dollar store is $55,900; areas without one have an average income of $82,000. In New York City, tracts with dollar stores average $59,700 in income, versus $93,500 for others.
I’m not sure what the solution is, but I think I see the problem.