Heavy Lifting - thoughts and web finds by an economist
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Wednesday, January 19, 2005

What is wrong with this set up?

Arlington is a city of strip malls. I wouldn't be surprised if Arlington has one of the highest strip mall per capita measures in the country. Arlington strip malls have as many as twenty or thirty store fronts and, evidently, as few as four.

One such small strip mall had the following stores in it:

A. Check-n-Go (check cashing business)
B. Game Stop (sells PC and video games)
C. The Cartridge Store (sells printer cartridges)
D. Condom Sense (I'll let you figure out what they sell)

Guess which two are in business and which two are not? A and C are kaput.

I would have guessed that B and D have different clientele, in which case they defy the spatial agglomeration argument. On the other hand, maybe they have the same clientele - gamers who buy condoms...hmmm

But a store selling printer cartridges couldn't survive competition with Best Buy, Circuit City, Staples, Office Depot, Office Max, and the Internet? Another American dream bites the dust.

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