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Economy

Why Do Some Neighborhoods Get Overrun With Chain Stores, While Others Don't?

Researchers are working on better understanding the interrelated shifts of retail, demographics, and hyperlocal economies
relates to Why Do Some Neighborhoods Get Overrun With Chain Stores, While Others Don't?
Reuters

The public services of a neighborhood tend to be pretty standard from place to place. Streets, sidewalks, sewers. The private services – the stores, the restaurants, the entertainment venues – are of course more varied. One neighborhood may have a large supermarket and a strip of Indian restaurants, while another may have blocks of high-end boutiques. Why these two neighborhoods differ is both clear and cloudy. The first is likely a residential area, while the second is probably in a posh part of town with a fair amount of street traffic and a lot of foot traffic. And, over the course of years, when a neighborhood’s demographics or fortunes turn and its population changes, the private services provided by retail stores and commercial entities can undergo a similarly significant shift.

The process of gentrification, for example, is often most visible in the sort of new retail that opens. There are plenty of assumptions as to why certain types of retail emerge amid various economic and demographic situations, but not a lot of hard research. Two researchers have set out to create a better understanding of the interrelationship between retail and changing neighborhoods.