Tuesday, September 8, 2009

When Profit-Motive Meets Poverty

Contemporary portraits of poverty are usually painted with wide brushstrokes of individual responsibility, educational failure, moral deficiencies and even race or cultural factors. Always in the shadows but seldom mentioned in poverty discussions is the role or impact of corporate policy and the business decisions which often exacerbate the plight of the poor and vulnerable.

The Kroger Co., with annual revenues of $76 billion and a history of closing grocery stores in low income or “less desirable” neighborhoods that don’t fit its high-end image, has announced that it will conclude the lease on its Toledo, Ohio store at 559 E. Manhattan on October 10, 2009. Yet new stores are planned or under construction for two suburban stores including an 80,000 sf. store in Waterville scheduled to open in 2010.

Terry Glazer, Chief Executive Officer of United North Development Corporation, who has been actively involved with the issue feels that the needs of the community and the effects on the neighborhood Kroger leaves behind are not something that has been sufficiently considered. “They are grossing two hundred thousand dollars a week and a million per month, making a profit and the building owners have given them favorable lease rates and offered to help with expansion. Kroger is abandoning the older neighborhoods and leaving behind a loyal customer base, many of whom don’t have transportation to get to other supermarkets.”

Read entire essay @ The Sojourner's Truth


underOvr (aka The U) said...

Hi Rev,

The question I always ask myself when decisions like this one are made is, "How much money is enough?"

When the motive for profits is corporate greed, there is never enough money.


Regina said...

I don't like Kroger's treatment of their employees (because my son works there). But for now it pays his bills...
so I will plead the 5th on this topic!

Revvy Rev said...

Tell him to hang in there until something else comes along. Be a good employee while simultaneously looking for a job in a non-oppressive environment is a good path to take. I would not become a martyr with no job to go to should they get rid of me. But I sure would be looking for something else. Just my take.

SjP said...

On this "plantation" Kroger is known as Smiths. They are located all over the city except where most of the Black folk live. Just realized this after reading your post. But, I can tell you that a few years ago around the 4th of July, I threw a fit when I saw a stack of pre-made blackberry pies renamed "Marion Berry Pie". Now tell me what the heck does Marion Berry have to do with the 4th of July? Guess being Black and living in DC is enogh. Wonder if they'll come up with a pie named for the Prez?