In recent years, many small local shops have closed because customers travel to large shopping centres or malls to do their shopping. Is this a positive or a negative development?
In the last few years, many small neighborhood stores have experienced bankruptcy as a result of customers preferring to shop at large shopping centers. In my opinion, this should be seen as a negative development because it harms retail wages as well as the environment.
Big-box stores lower workers’ wages. One reason why retail giants such as Target and Walmart frequently put mom-and-pop stores out of business is that they sell the same products at much lower prices. They are able to do this partly because they pay their workers as little as possible. For example, the average wage for Walmart workers in the US in 2022 was only $13 per hour. Many low-skilled workers have no choice but to take these jobs because the local businesses which offered higher pay have closed their doors and big-box retailers are the only major employers in the area.
Additionally, shopping at large malls directly hurts the environment. When small, local businesses lined the streets, residents could simply walk to stores to do their shopping, which is an eco-friendly way of travel. Contrarily, shoppers must now drive to large chain stores. If one looks at the extensive parking lots of these stores, one will know the number of private cars they attract. This is detrimental to the environment since private vehicles have a very high rate of carbon emissions per-capita.
In conclusion, large retail chains replacing small, local businesses is a negative trend. Not only do they provide unlivable wages to employees, these big retailers also contribute to environmental pollution. (257 Words)