Archive | Shopping

From Shopping Malls to Lifestyle Centers

On why structured parking is allegedly problematic for regional retail in general, which is causing problems at West End.  This installment will look at the overall evolution of regional retail – from downtown, to the regional malls, to lifestyle centers like West End.  Downtown 2.0: The Mall With the massive movement of people to the […]

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Walking: A Rare Joy of ‘Sheltering in Place’

Is it me? Or is everyone who is brave enough to go outdoors these days a little friendlier, a bit relieved to see another human being? With a record number of people unemployed, and only “essential” workers (a term that makes me feel dispensable) now allowed to report to their offices or shop floors, fewer […]

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Grocery Wars 2020: Costco is a Winner Winner Five Dollar Chicken Dinner

Recently, I asked our readers to fill out a survey about grocery shopping habits, including where you shopped and what was on your most recent receipt. Thank you to the 53 readers who shared their data! I have been volunteering hard over the last half-month to bring you the most representative grocery index I could, […]

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London Hackney

Help Design the Next Grocery Index

Dear streets.mn loyal readers, Last year, I worked on a grocery index that included local Minneapolis-St. Paul grocery stores and common staples. For the next index, it’s time to ask for your input on what stores and what staples you value. Since the last grocery index, I have learned that Instacart has a mark-up on […]

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Dispatch from Black Friday

Every year I make an expedition to the Mall of America on Black Friday with no specific agenda. Living in downtown Minneapolis, I can buy an all-day Metro Transit pass for $5, saving $1.55 in gasoline, 13 pounds of carbon dioxide and a chip out of my soul. We were riding the lemon yellow light […]

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Parking Validation: What If I Don’t Drive?

You’ve probably been offered parking validation, as I have, at restaurants, grocery stores — even the county Human Services office where I receive benefits (while working three jobs and freelancing on the side).  But what if, like me, you don’t have a car? Which of these places will validate your visiting them by riding transit, […]

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Whole Foods Just Lowered Prices, Just a Little

Whole Foods announced recently that they were planning on reducing prices store-wide as part of Amazon’s campaign to combat the image of a “Whole paycheck” grocery store. The Whole Foods media release gloated, “Starting Wednesday, customers will find new lower prices on hundreds of items throughout the store with an emphasis on high quality, peak-of-season […]

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Affordability: Shopping at and Living Near Grocery Stores

I consider myself a savvy shopper. I check prices online and in-store and tend to avoid expensive places unless I need a few things I would have to drive to get elsewhere. The year is 2019, and we don’t have to be tied to our neighborhood geography when choosing where to buy groceries. With services […]

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The Suburb to City Retail Subsidy

The Urban Planning “S” Words It seems in urban planning there’s no shortage of locker room talk to describe development and infrastructure you personally don’t like. For example, the epithet “sprawl.”  Some may say “I know it when I see it,” but too often it’s just an insult with no objective definition; perhaps just a […]

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Chart of the Day: Shopkeepers Travel Mode Share Estimates (Bristol UK)

Alex Schieferdecker turned me onto an old Citylab article about parking perception versus parking reality called Four Reasons Retailers Don’t Need Free Parking. It cites a (hard to find) study out of the UK which charted perceived mode-share versus actual mode share for a shopping street in Bristol, UK (a medium-sized city in the Southwest, population 450K). Here’s the chart […]

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