Thursday, April 16, 2009

An Essay Considering the Pro's and Con's of Chain Stores on the Downtown Mall

In an essay in The Hook (you can link to it here), Walker Richmond examines the arguments for and against chain stores on the Downtown Mall.

The impetus for Walker's essay was the news, this past winter, that national chain Urban Outfitters would be opening a store in the old Hardware Store space. Currently, there are only three chain stores on the Mall: CVS, Five Guys Burgers, and Caspari.

The essay has generated a significant number of comments on The Hook's web site. The comments are fairly evenly divided between chain store supporters and detractors; a number of people have cited to the history of chain stores on Main Street / the Mall in the 1960's and 70's (Woolworth's, Miller & Rhoads, etc.) as evidence that chains won't necessarily detract from the Mall's uniquely Charlottesville flavor.