Piece image

The "Whole Foods" Effect

From: Next Generation Radio
Series: NPR's Next Generation Radio
Length: 04:29

How does a Grocery Chain pick it's urban locations and what are the economic effects of such a choice?

Wholefoods_small Whole Foods is the biggest natural foods retailer in the world. And it's growing -- building dozens of new stores each year. Sometimes that means locating stores in changing urban neighborhoods. And Whole Foods has developed a kind of cult-like status for lifting those neighborhoods up. Next Generation Radio's Adeline Goss (GAHS) has more on ?the whole foods effect.?

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Piece Description

Whole Foods is the biggest natural foods retailer in the world. And it's growing -- building dozens of new stores each year. Sometimes that means locating stores in changing urban neighborhoods. And Whole Foods has developed a kind of cult-like status for lifting those neighborhoods up. Next Generation Radio's Adeline Goss (GAHS) has more on ?the whole foods effect.?

Transcript

Track:
Shopping here is kinda psychedelic -- heaps of chocolate, Technicolor produce, and free samples of gourmet cheese. You walk outside and only then realize that each of those organic apples you just bought were a dollar fifty apiece.
Ten years ago Wayne Dickson wandered through a Whole Foods in a suburb of Washington DC, and fell in love. He wanted a store right around the corner from his own home downtown. Problem was, as he puts it,
Dickson: It was a scary neighborhood, really scary.
Dickson?s neighborhood was hard hit by the 1968 race riots and took decades to recover.
Dickson: In the evening hours, it was just a flood of prostitution...There were shootings and knife-killings. It was not a pretty picture.
That was eight years ago, when Whole Foods mostly stuck to wealthier neighborhoods. So Dickson and his neighbors started a campaign, writing letters and even doing demogra...
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