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Damage Of 'Big Box' Stores

Satisfactory Essays
Throughout the past years there has been an enormous and ongoing conflict against the opening of "big box" superstores which are famous across America. "Big box" is the new term used to describe the massive rectangular one-floor building retail stores occupying between 90,000 and 200,000 square feet with an enormous parking lot that surrounds it. They are designed to accommodate a large number of products as well as a form of billboard that affectively attract customers. These stores are strangely loved and hated by the American citizens. Many absolutely love them because they provide individuals with good quality goods at low prices, efficient and convenient service, and it is often said that as these stores not only create many job opportunities to the suburbs, but they also greatly increase local tax revenues. "All customers appreciate good service, low pricing, and great selection," suggest Walt-Mart (Beaumont). Although it seems like the consequences of the presence of these stores are all positive, one must analyze closely the long run effects in order to realize that they may cause permanent damage to the communities. There are certainly many hidden costs brought by these big box stores in which "do not appear on the price tags of the products they sell: traffic congestion; loss of trees, open space and farmland; displaced small businesses; air and water pollution; dying downtowns with vacant buildings; abandoned shopping centers; a degraded sense of community; and sprawl." Therefore it is necessary to study the opportunity cost of building these stores in the suburban areas to decide if they are actually higher, making it a better choice to avoid them at least within a certain distance from residential spaces (Codey).

Are "Big Box" really Convenient?

Those who fight to keep big box stores argue that they are very convenient. They suggest that consumers may quickly do their shopping making only one stop where they can get much of what they need. It is true they can do the shopping all at one place, but in return they must be in traffic for much longer on a daily basis. The existence of these superstores lead to much congestion into communities; making those who live near by face traffic throughout all their regular activities. "Sometimes you come out of the lot and you have to wait two or three cycles to get through the light at Nimitz Highway," said Jonah Maehara, a sales representative for Koha Oriental Foods, "And they are very long cycles" (Leidemann).
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