Friday, November 2, 2007

Clone Wars?

I saw that they're breaking ground on a new Lowe's in the Orange-Derby Plaza, and although I'm happy to see the space be used productively, I have to ask when is enough enough?

I mean, I don't begrudge the spirit of capitalism, and although I'm not a fan of chains in general -- especially restaurant chains -- I do shop at them, understand their role and the things people like about them: convenience, reliability and often cheaper prices (at the cost of local businesses and American industry, but that's a story for another day). My concern is that it seems that there are too many of the same ones popping up over and over again.

The aforementioned Lowe's in the Orange-Derby Plaza is going in about a mile away from a Home Depot (which I understand from a competition view point), but it'll also be less than five miles from another Lowe's (on the Post Road in Orange), which of course, is less than a mile away from another Home Depot. Does this really work? It must, or these multibillion dollar corporations wouldn't do it, right? Right? Bueller?

I went shopping one night last week in the new Target in Ansonia, which is only miles from the newish Targets in Milford, Orange and Trumbull (not counting the new one going into the Trumbull Mall), and I noticed that the place was nearly empty. Was it the night I was shopping, or have we begun to reach the saturation point? If one Target in Orange is good, then three more are better, right? On my last Sunday Drive, I passed what seemed to be about 60 Walgreens in a half-hour span -- I understand wanting to eliminate the competition, but it seems that some of these businesses are trying to drive themselves out of business.

Quick story: Back in the day, I used to work at a Flower Time garden center in Milford, part of a small chain which was eventually devoured by a bigger fish, Frank's Nursery and Crafts, a national chain. Manifest destiny then seemed to become the business plan as they opened more and more bigger stores, including another one on the Post Road in Milford, less than two miles from the first one. Was there such a need for so many giant floral, craft and garden centers, especially so close to each other?

I think if you drive by the now-empty store on the Post Road, you know the answer.

1 comment:

Charles Monagan said...

I am likewise puzzled by the proliferation of big-box drug stores. Walgreen's begets CVS begets another Walgreen's, etc. It's positively biblical. Do we really need all those drugs and bags of candy? Do the drugs enhance the candy, or vice-versa?