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Why Shop Locally

Excerpted from "Eugene, Oregon, Inc." - an editorial by Gavin McComas, proprietor of Sundance Natural Foods.

The following list attempts to summarize some of the reasons not to encourage or facilitate WFM incursion into Eugene:

  1. WFM’s size, buying power and centralized management have the six local stores at a major competitive disadvantage.

  2. Chain stores lend uniformity to a town. When every town has its Borders Books, Home Depot, Staples, Starbucks, Wal-Mart, Mcdonald’s, and Papa John’s Pizza, the character, personality and sense of place will have been lost.

  3. Product selection becomes limited and prices usually rise when one corporation monopolizes the market place or category of goods

  4. Money leaves the community for corporate headquarters and into the pockets of the stockholders. Outside interests vested in their own welfare have less regard for our community than their own cash flow.

  5. Jobs are lost when large chain retailers displace smaller stores, or force them to downsize

  6. Large chains are able to support losses in some stores because of the big profits in their other stores. Thus chain stores can wait out the demise of the local independents. This isn’t genuine competition' – it is the kind of thing from which that anti-trust laws used to protect us, before the corporations lobbied them out of existence in the name of so-called “free enterprise,” now known as survival of the most powerful.

  7. The “culture” of the chain store isn’t native to the particular community, so the uniqueness of individual towns is lost. Each community becomes just another mall for siting chain stores and formula restaurants.

  8. As a “destination” rather than a neighborhood store, Whole Foods Market encourages driving further to buy groceries.

  9. Because of its large size WFM can’t offer the intimate, homey shopping experience that smaller local stores can provide.

  10. Eugene is already being well served by the six neighborhood natural foods stores as well as by the Eugene-based PC Market of Choice chain. We don't need a chain natural foods store that would dominate or eliminate local businesses.
See also "10 Reasons Why Vermont's Homegrown Economy Matters" by Stacy Mitchell. Mitchell is a prominent leader of the worldwide movement to protect local businesses. One of her speeches is excerpted on our site here.