BIG BOX ECONOMIC IMPACT STUDIES
These studies are from the USA but the same thing is happening in South Africa
Below are summaries and links to key studies that examine the impact of Wal-Mart and other large retail chains and, in some cases, the benefits of locally owned businesses. For ease of use, we’ve organized these studies into the following categories, although they do not all fit neatly into one category. (Also see the Research section of the News Archive for more detailed stories on some of these studies).
* Economic Impact of Local Businesses vs. Chains
Studies have found that locally owned stores generate much greater benefits for the local economy than national chains.
* Retail Employment
These studies examine whether the arrival of a superstore increases or decreases the number of retail jobs in the region.
* Wages & Benefits
Studies have found that big-box retailers, particularly Wal-Mart, are depressing wages and benefits for retail employees.
* Existing Businesses
These studies look at how the arrival of a big-box retailer displaces sales at existing businesses, which must then downsize or close. This results in job losses and declining tax revenue, which some of these studies quantify.
* Poverty Rates
Counties that have gained Wal-Mart stores have fared worse in terms of family poverty rates, according to this study.
* Social and Civic Well-Being
This study found that Wal-Mart reduces a community’s level of social capital, as measured by voter turnout and the number of active community organizations.
* City Costs
These studies compare the municipal tax benefits of big-box development with the cost of providing these stores with city services, such as road maintenance, police and fire—finding that cities do not always come out ahead.
* State Costs
Because many of their employees do not earn enough to make ends meet, states are reporting high costs associated with providing healthcare (Medicaid) and other public assistance to big-box employees.
This study documents more than $1 billion in local and state development subsidies that have flowed to Wal-Mart.
* Consumers & Prices
Are chains better for consumers?
How do vehicle miles traveled and trips increase as a result of big box developments?
Read the whole story here