Monday, November 12, 2018

Chicago trying to figure how to attract as much retail opportunity as possible

Where does Chicago go shopping?
Leaving the South Side

There’s time when it appears we don’t have much of a clue. As much of it may well depend upon which demographic we happen to have been born into – and whether retailers are all that anxious to have our business.

A PAIR OF stories in the news of late would impact the ability of us to purchase the goods that enable us to get through our lives.

For some of us, that has now become something we do on the Internet from our homes, with items shipped to our homes (or what other address they happen to find most convenient).

While others of us still prefer the concept of a physical store to shop at. Which is why interest is being paid to municipal government trying to figure out how to get Target to back of off its intensions to close two of its stores in South Side neighborhoods.

Specifically in the Morgan Park and Chatham neighborhoods, both of which are majority African-American populations. Which has some people convinced that Target is dumping those locations because they’re not interested in selling goods to black people.

AFTER ALL, IT’S not a cutback by the retailer whose fanatics like to mockingly think of it as a French-like outlet. Because Target has plans to open new stores in the Rogers Park and Logan Square neighborhoods. Along with various other locations throughout the suburbs.

But none of those are majority non-Anglo like the locations of the two stores that are to be closed.

Target supporters try to argue that the retailer will still have South Side locations. Although you have to admit, the Hyde Park neighborhood is noted most for being so unlike the rest of the South Side in so many ways – including in its racial composition.
Putting Chicago off to the side

I won’t be surprised if Target decides to merely ride it out, and figure they don’t have to do anything to change their stance on store locations.

SO IT MIGHT be in vain the city’s efforts to offer millions of dollars in tax increment finance benefits – which allow the property taxes the company pays to be put into a special fund by which they could get it back to pay for future improvements.

It might not be enough to sway Target officials, who likely will tolerate the racial rhetoric of the next few months that claims the retailer is deliberately snubbing people based on race.

Even though I’m sure they’ll claim it’s mere demographics – even though I often wonder if such talk is merely a way of covering up a desire to be more selective about how they do business with.

Not that Target is the only retail issue that has city officials concerned. There also are concerns over the second corporate headquarters that wants to have beyond Seattle, Wash.

THE REPORTER RUMOR mill of recent weeks says that Amazon is about to choose a site – and it ain’t Chicago.

Supposedly, Amazon is interested in the Virginia-based suburbs of Washington, D.C., and the borough of Queens in New York. Which some will try to say means they want to be in D.C. and Noo Yawk. Although it’s really more like they want to be on the fringes of those two major cities where they can escape the grittier aspects of urban life.

Which might well include people of the same types of economic demographics that Target is trying to avoid by pulling their stores out of Morgan Park and Gresham.

The key to comprehending businesses and where they choose to locate is that they usually pick locations where their self-interest is fulfilled, with the underlying idea being that the day will eventually come when their self-interests are better served elsewhere. Meaning even if were to pick Chicago, it’s likely the day would come when they’d decide to move elsewhere.


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