How New York’s idiosyncratic East Village confronts the homogenizing effect of chain store retail.
By George Tzortzis | If you’re like me, you’re probably NOT a New York City native. I left suburbia and its expansive backyards, quiet residential streets and convenience-driven comfort-centered life and traded it all for a third-floor walk-up under LaGuardia’s busiest air traffic corridor. The only thing conveniently located nearby was a laundromat with a broken change machine. Nevertheless, despite the high rent, cramped living space, and street (and sky!) noise, many make this trade off because of the priceless amenity that only the city offers: variety.
Would people put up with city living if it no longer proffered diversity of experience? If every city in the U.S. was crammed with the same heat-lamp buffet of stores and restaurants, how could you tell Portland from L.A. except by weather forecast? If this sounds extreme, the proof is in the statistics. The number of New York stores controlled by a national brand rose 2.4%, and had increased for the fifth year in a row, totaling 7,190 branches.
Continue reading NYC’s Chain Empires: Indy Neighborhood Strikes Back [Shopikon]