4. They Create More Crime
At least that’s what nonprofit newsroom ProPublica says, anyway. According to the newsroom, discount chains foster violence and neglect in poor communities.
To come to this conclusion, ProPublica used information from a Gun Violence Archive report which lists more than 200 violent incidents involving guns at Family Dollar or Dollar General stores since the start of 2017, nearly 50 of which resulted in deaths.
They also considered the fact that routine gun violence has remained high in many cities and towns where dollar stores predominate despite declining sharply in prosperous cities around the nation. And owners of the chains do very little to maintain order in the stores.
According to a former worker, shoplifting is common at these stores, yet they lack security guards. What’s worse is that some managers will even go so far as to discourage employees from testifying in court against robbers because the employees are needed to staff the stores.
3. There’s an Association Between Proximity to Dollar Stores and Patterns of Racial Segregation
A study conducted by the University of Georgia shows a significant association between proximity to dollar stores and patterns of racial segregation in major U.S. metropolitan areas.
Indeed, dollar stores are sometimes associated with food deserts. According to Jerry Shannon, associate professor of geography in the university’s Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, the word “desert” can be misleading.
“The term desert suggests something that occurs naturally or, in this case, through the invisible hand of economic forces,” Shannon said in an article published on the university’s website.
“But differences in access to food and other shopping options are tied to decades of policies that intentionally created racial and economic segregation, like redlining, urban renewal, and restrictive housing covenants.”
Shannon also noted that past research on retailer locations mainly focused on distribution networks and household economic characteristics, not racial segregation. The study conducted by the University of Georgia addresses this issue.