Thursday, November 18, 2010

Food & Des(s)erts

Walgreens is conducting a neat experiement that may shed some light on whether the lack of supermarkets in urban areas amounts to a market failure.

Among students of the contemporary metropolis, “food deserts” have become a widely known problem. The term is generally used to describe urban neighborhoods where there are few grocers selling fresh produce, but a cornucopia of fast-food places and convenience stores selling salty snacks . . . .

Walgreens, the drugstore chain founded in that city more than 100 years ago, [has] started selling an expanded selection of food, including fresh fruits and vegetables, at 10 locations selected because they were in food deserts. The experiment in creating these “food oases” is intriguing because it involves a well-known retail brand not typically associated with groceries . . .

Steve Clowney

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