The latest chain store fight

Dear Starchild;

It was an example however your three points are

1) aesthetics (e.g. they don't like the appearance or vibe of
sterile, big-box style outlets like WalMart)

A. Big-Box stores do not have to be designed ugly they can be designed to be extremely environmentally friendly merging within the charactor of the neighborhood and being an extension of the neighborhood not a Godzilla squashing a Bambi.

BTW that happens in a delightful cartoon short of about 10 seconds called: Godzilla Meets Bambi.

(2) self-interest (for existing businesses, which common sense tells
us *are* hurt by the competition when a chain store moves in)

A store selling Levis opened in the Castro and was accepted without a fight. They showed the neighborhood they would be a good neighbor would provide employment and their prices were above the competing stores selling clothes. There wasn't a fight at all.

SF Chronicle

In contrast, take the case of Levi's, which wanted to open an outlet on Castro Street. Working through Dufty, the company met with merchants, explained their plans and even pointed out that they wouldn't undercut competitors - products sold in the Levi's store cost as much as $10 more than in mom-and-pop stores.
The result? Levi's conditional use permit passed - there was not a single dissenting vote.

(3) alienation (chain stores are seen as symbolic of big corporations
and the impersonal, alienating side of capitalism)

The big box ordinance starts at 11 stores - THAT' JUST 11 STORES - those are not huge giant corporations - most of them employ in a store from 6 - 12 people so the compny at 11 would have at best 100 employees this is not a huge giant corporation.

San Franciscans in far too many neighborhoods have their heads up their butts trying to find the light switch to their brain with their nose.

Ron Getty - SF Libertarian
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