Shopping Urban Style

Discussion
Sep 17, 2003
George Anderson

By George Anderson


Consumers in Charlotte, notably Charlotte Observer columnist Leigh Dyer, are trying to make the transition from suburban-style shopping using a car to walking to the store
to pickup groceries and other items.


Ms. Dyer writes Charlotte has made progress creating mixed-use residential and commercial pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods but that the old habit of jumping in the car to go
to the supermarket is hard to break.


She writes, “Once a second store opened nearby, though, I decided I no longer had an excuse to pollute the atmosphere — and avoid exercise — by driving to buy groceries. Pretty
much anything I normally need is now at one of those two stores (Reid’s Fine Foods and Harris Teeter), both roughly four blocks away from my North Church Street address.”


Ms. Dyer has learned that urban-shopping requires more trips to the store and a cart to carry purchases home.


Others have been slower to adapt than the columnist. In fact, according to the store managers at Reid’s and Harris Teeter, “the bulk of uptown dwellers aren’t making the adjustment.”


Moderator’s Comment: Will American consumers trained to drive to stores to shop be able to change their habits?


The stores themselves can certainly help consumers make the transition. Her Harris Teeter, according to Ms. Dyer, sells minicarts for shoppers to carry
their groceries home and, of course, there is always home delivery.
[George
Anderson – Moderator
]

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