January 7, 2008

Limiting Chain Stores in our neighborhoods


Should chain stores be required to fit in with the character of a neighborhood, and should their proliferation be capped? Those are some of the crazy ideas being tossed in my mind. But, WOW these are some drastic measures for a capitalist society. We need to start working toward formulating a retail zoning plan for the neighborhoods that would prevent chain stores from displacing local businesses and generally keep them from swamping the area more than they already have. Will local politicians' endorse the plan? It's way too early to tell, but we may be approaching the day when enjoying a gingerbread latte, Starbucks latte, while strolling Rainbow St. could be considered a dangerous political high-wire act.


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6 comments:

Ahmad Al-Sholi said...

so, to get you right? you are ok with having it on the main abdoun street but against having it in lower sweifieh?

The Observer said...

Actually I am loving the idea of having starbucks in my neighbourhood. I had to go all the way to Abdoun or Swefieh in order to sit and have a decent talk with a friend.

The problem is that we dont have anything close to it to compete. All of our cafes are smoke junkies! There are a lot in Rabieh for argeeleh fans, but not a single one for having a coffe in a relaxed atmosphere.

I guess that is the main reason for starbucks success in jordan. There is a big nead for such outlets.

ahmad al-sholi said...

actually, cups and kilos falls in that category.. I would recommend the new branch at al-rabieh..

Amman Voice said...

The whole point is that. Let's learn from these global chains but don't let them dominate our life and economy. Let's have a couple of starbucks coffee shops in our neighbourhoods but don't let it invade every street. We want to be a free market but, and everybody does that, we need to protect our local businesses. A local alternative will be a good idea, but I ask myself: can we produce an alternative to the Starbucks Phenomena, or to other global brands?

Ahmad Al-Sholi said...

starbucks is not competing anyone!! they are a global sweeper.. we either have a free market or we don't, and i do not think that we are in a place to put some restrictions for starbucks, they would just go! they have jordanians hired there, the interact with the economic cycle by fees, taxes, electricity, communication, water, procurement (I am not sure).. In a globalized world which tend to be the same whereever you go, you need to have a district preserved for your local culture and associated businesses and not vice versa in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Starbucks or other franchises are invading the high streets, and it's a fact everywhere. The Capitalism society is reshaping Amman as well, as it did with many other famous cities round the globe. Starbucks is not alone to blame. Many Jordanian businesses are franchising as well: Abu Jbara, Habibah, Hashem, Al-kalha- to name but a few. Shame though, because they've lost originality afterwards!Independent shops can't compete with big brands, so they fade. Leaving the city neighbourhoods identity poor, with the same set of shops and brands. So,there's no point in strolling down to Rainbow St. anymore to buy Falafel or Tmarieh from your favourite corner shop. Starbucks! they're not in the coffee business serving people, they're in the people business serving coffee!! I think that their CEO once said that! But I like their business approach, and how they managed to articulated the design of the Abdoun Starbucks round the needs of our society, after all we need to sit, enjoy our coffee, and socialize...again people business!