Walmart vs. Obesity

Thursday, July 24th, 2008

The Examiner’s Mary Katherine Ham notes that a new law instituting a one-year moratorium on new fast food restaurants in South L.A. was sponsored by a city councilwoman who has fought like hell to keep low-cost produce out of those same neighborhoods:

Yet now the council requires giant retailers to survive an “economic impact report” before being allowed to operate in even the most blighted of neighborhoods.

In 2004, she backed an ordinance to keep one of America’s lowest-priced grocers (Wal-Mart) out of the area, according to the Los Angeles Business Journal.

By attempting to ban Wal-Mart, Perry was not only depriving her district of that store’s low prices, but also of the ripple effect Wal-Mart can have on area groceries. According to economic analysts, the price of groceries drops an average of 10-15 percent in markets Wal-Mart enters.

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52 Responses to “Walmart vs. Obesity”

  1. #1 |  The Agitator » Blog Archive » Food Apartheid | 

    […] is, the only types of stores that could make fresh produce in low income areas profitable–are off limits in the big city. Maybe we should just let the government handle all of the food distribution in low-income […]

  2. #2 |  Bryan C | 

    The failing yards offer excellent service and knowledgable sales people, things Lowes can and will not provide. Yet these businesses are dying. They can’t touch Lowe’s prices.

    Which leads me to conclude that the people actually buying the products don’t need or want excellent service or knowledgeable salespeople.

    Or those same people simply don’t know that these lumberyards offer superior service and advice. I certainly wouldn’t expect this. In my experience lumberyards are usually uninviting industrial-looking places filled with impatient contractors in big trucks. I don’t feel welcome.

    The first case is a bad investment decision on the part of the lumberyard. They chose to spend money on “excellent” instead of “adequate” and priced themselves out of the market.

    The second is a lack of advertising or bad public image. Many customers will spend a few extra bucks if they’re getting something out of it. They need to convince those customers that the benefits to them outweigh the cost. Sadly it seems that many local businesses have never had to compete against a real adversary and have no real interest in leaning.