Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Retail clusters

Whenever we travel there are certain kinds of businesses that we see too many of. Almost anywhere we go, it seems surprising how thick the pizzerias are, for instance, but lately Barre has almost caught up with the mean pizzeria density of the rest of New England, so that's not as surprising. And the prevalence of quaint shops full of things you would never buy or even look at other than on vacation is never a surprise. (For instance, is there anywhere you can go on vacation that doesn't have a small shop full of Irish and Scottish things?) If you're on the coast, of course there'll be lots of seafood restaurants and marine supply shops. And so on.

But there's also usually something else that isn't so readily explicable. Here on the Connecticut coast, there are two. First, there are a distressingly large number of pet shops and pet grooming centers. I mean, in the few miles of Old Saybrook, there are at least four. Pampered pets indeed. Second, there are Dunkin Donuts every mile or so. It's like the old joke about Starbucks, only there are not many Starbucks here, but it's almost so dense that you can see one Dunkin Donuts from the next Dunkin Donuts. I even saw a Tim Horton's and wondered how they compete with the huge supply of Dunkin.

I was born and raised on Long Island so I'm no stranger to Dunkin Donuts, but really, this seems excessive, and hard to explain.

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