Posted by Chella on June 07, 2005 at 11:25:03:
At my end of the Drive, one small local grocer has been very fearful about a new market, part of a larger chain, which just opened up across the street. The new market researched the products carried by the smaller established grocer, and then began to stock the exact same brands, at a lower price. This is a shame. What if they cooperated, instead of the new place trying to "kill" the old place? What if they sold different products and co-existed peacefully? This would be much better for the neighbourhood and for consumers. We would have more choice, better overall selection if they stocked different brands, or offered different classes of products (I note that the new place carries meats, while the old place doesn't -- why not more of that? why not work together?)
Interestingly, the locals are defying the larger market and continuing to shop at the smaller place, so that the new place is often empty, despite low prices, wider aisles, more appealing displays. Locals realize what they are trying to do, and they don't like it. Maybe the larger place won't make it, because of its market aggression and the backlash by loyal customers. If they were to take a more cooperative approach, things might go very differently for them. This situation provides one example of the potential benefits of cooperative economics, as opposed to the traditional cut-throat competition-only model.
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