Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Advocate.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Circuit City liquidation will leave empty Big Box Marts all over the country

The impending shut down of Circuit City Stores profoundly illustrates one of the reasons why municipalities across the United States need to stop allowing the construction of endless superstores: When a big chain fails, it leaves behind massive buildings and parking lots that are hard to fill.
The Circuit City move will also hurt the nation's malls, which have suffered from the rise in vacancies as other chains have liquidated. But analysts say that the demise of Circuit City, whose stores range in size from 20,000 to 25,000 square feet, will hurt the fortunes of mall operators even more.

"It will bring to market a glut of big box spaces across the country," said John Bemis, head of Jones Lang LaSalle Inc.'s retail leasing team. "It will have one of the largest impacts on big box real estate across the country."
It's one thing to build warehouse clubs with sparse furnishings that are more easily converted to other industrial uses (which is Costco's practice).

It is another to build stores with entrances that look like plugs and an interior that is designed only for retail use. America would be better off with fewer big box marts and fewer giant retail chains.

That said, it's never a good thing when thirty thousand people lose their jobs. This is a sad ending for Circuit City Stores and bad economic news too. Every day, we keep hearing about more layoffs and closures. Our economy is still sliding. We desperately need our government to act and get this situation turned around.


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