Big-box swindle: the true cost of mega-retailers and the fight for America's independent businesses

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Beacon Press, Nov 1, 2006 - Business & Economics - 318 pages
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An expert's in-depth exploration of the enormous impact of mega-retailers-and what communities and independent businesses can doLarge retail chains have become the most powerful corporations in America and are rapidly transforming our economy, communities, and landscape. In this deft and revealing book, Stacy Mitchell illustrates how mega-retailers are fueling many of our most pressing problems, from the shrinking middle class to rising water pollution and diminished civic engagement.Mitchell's investigation takes us from the suburbs of Cleveland to a fruit farm in California, the stockroom of an Oregon Wal-Mart, and a Pennsylvania town's Main Street. She uncovers the shocking role government policy has played in the expansion of mega-retailers and builds a compelling case that communities composed of many small businesses are healthier and more prosperous than those dominated by large chains.More than a critique, Big-Box Swindle draws on real life to show how some communities are successfully countering the spread of mega-retailers and rebuilding their local economies. Mitchell describes innovative approaches-from cutting-edge land-use policies to small-business initiatives-that together provide a detailed road map to a more prosperous and sustainable future.

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User Review  - quantum_flapdoodle - LibraryThing

It can be hard to say one enjoys a book as disturbing as this one. But ultimately, it is filled with valuable information that can arm you for any friend of yours who attacks you with the constant ... Read full review

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User Review  - Manyra - LibraryThing

It's a shame that the people who need to read this book will not. Read full review



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About the author (2006)

Stacy Mitchell is a regular speaker and advisor to communities on retail development and independent business. A senior researcher with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, she chairs the American Independent Business Alliance . Mitchell regularly contributes articles and commentaries to magazines and newspapers, and produces an acclaimed monthly email newsletter, The Hometown Advantage Bulletin. She lives in Portland, Maine.