2. Mayors are the new grocers
In hundreds of American towns, mom-and-pop grocers and shops are closing their doors — leaving an increasing share of Americans with no retail options beyond dollar stores.
But, but, but: One town found a different solution. After its only grocery store closed, the mayor of Baldwin, Florida, opened a market run by city hall to help limit the community's reliance on fast food and dollar stores, Axios' Marisa Fernandez reports.
Why it matters: Dollar stores are thriving as local retail decays (there are more than 30,000 such stores in the country today), so several cities are starting to push back and either ban or limit the opening of new dollar joints in town.
- As we've reported, Birmingham and Oklahoma City both passed laws against dollar stores. More recently, the residents of Empire, Michigan, banded together to keep Dollar General out.
Baldwin could become a model for these places that are looking for alternatives to the discount chains. Beyond Florida, locally owned groceries have already popped up in Vermont and Kansas, says Stacy Mitchell, co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, a nonprofit research and advocacy group that opposes concentrated economic power.
"Most of the cities and small towns that are confronting this problem see restricting dollar stores as only half of the answer. The other half is having a plan to bring in a real grocery store."— Stacy Mitchell