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2005 12 01
Big Box Retail
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WAL-MART. Next exit. I have never jumped for joy knowing that there will be a Walmart at the next exit. It is information I do not need to know while I am traveling at 100 Kms per hour. The truth is that I know there will be a Walmart at the next exit because I am coming up on Trenton, Ontario. Just like I know that there was one 25 Kms back in Cobourg and that there will be one a few Kms. ahead in Belleville. There will be one in Napanee, a few of them in Kingston and in every city and town all the way to Montreal. Along with Walmart there will be a Canadian Tire, a Home Depot, a Staples, a Pet Smart and other big box retailers. They can be found along the main road into town, not in town. They create big city traffic jams on roads that didn't even have traffic lights before their arrival. They have homogenized these towns in such a way that it is difficult to distinguish them from one another. Will Big Box Retail save these towns from decay or cause their decay? I have heard both sides of the argument to this question and have my own opinion on which is right. Although my opinion doesn't matter because I don't live in any of these communities. All I know is that on the drive to Montreal, I have never needed to stop for jumper cables at a Canadian Tire, for ink-jet paper at a Staples or for a flea collar at a Pet Smart. So I don't need to see highway billboard advertising letting me know I can save at Walmart, at the next exit. All I really need to know, is how close is the next Tim Hortons? The kids really have to pee.
[email this story] Posted by Chris Thomaidis on 12/01 at 07:52 AM

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