Discount stores

Southfield City Council approves moratorium on small-box discount stores


Southfield City Council has approved a moratorium on small-box discount stores. The moratorium period will last 180 days.

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SOUTHFIELD – Southfield City Council has approved a moratorium on small-box discount stores that will last 180 days.

Mayor Ken Siver said residents have contacted the city about opening several of these stores in the same area. He said residents want different options for groceries and other necessities.

One example is at the intersection of 11 Mile Road and Lahser Road, where three dollar stores of different national brands are all within walking distance of each other.

Siver said the city was not against small discount stores and did not discriminate against any business. The city is just hoping to see more diversity in the retail market, he said.

“When the third dollar store came in at Lahser and 11, that stuff set people off,” Siver said. “We lost a grocery store there. We had Farmer Jack, then Noah’s Market. People really wanted to see a grocery store there.

In terms of trying to diversify the market, Siver believes other types of stores entering the city can have a big impact and generate profits. He added that there were already $ 16 or $ 17 stores in Southfield.

He noted that some areas of Southfield have a large resident population with high disposable incomes, who could go to these desired businesses.

Siver identified 11 Mile and Lahser as a location that could accommodate high-end retail stores due to volume and other factors in the area.

“I think they’re just missing out on an opportunity because the neighborhoods north, east and west of Harvard Row, most of them have disposable income. They would support an upscale retail business than a discount store, ”Siver said. “We are not against dollar stores. We are not against discount stores. But how much is too much?

According to a 2019 report from the nonprofit Institute for Local Self Reliance, some believe dollar stores may be contributing to food deserts by crowding out grocery stores, and some people fear they may be contributing to an increase in crime. However, developers say they are responding to a need and desire for low-cost shopping in the communities where they are located.

Southfield’s director of community relations Michael Manion said the city has generally not seen these results.

Small-box discount store owners believe they play a vital role in helping to serve the communities in which they are located. Dollar Tree and Dollar General understand the concerns of local authorities, but said they are always looking for new ways to help the neighborhoods they serve to be healthier, stronger and safer.

“Dollar Tree and Family Dollar complement and operate side by side with grocery stores and bring economic development to every community we enter,” the company said in a statement. “Dollar stores are helping to alleviate the effects of ‘food deserts’ in urban communities by helping to serve underserved people. Dollar Tree offers a wide range of basic family essentials at affordable prices, which is one of the main reasons we’ve been one of America’s most beloved brands for over 33 years. years.

This is not the first time the city has experienced a moratorium period for certain types of new businesses. The city has decreed temporary shutdowns on marijuana establishments, for example.

Southfield Planning Director Terry Croad said the city has researched cities across the country to ensure the matter is diligently investigated.

Croad said other cities have used different types of restrictions to avoid clusters of these stores, including separation requirements, among others.

For now, the city is still studying the issue and will report its findings to city council when it is ready. If the city feels that action needs to be taken, then new bylaws will begin to be developed.

“It’s not atypical,” said Croad. “Anytime we start grouping together certain types of uses, it just raises red flags that we want to explore why this is happening and are there any potential unintended consequences. “

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