Read the full post at GreenBuildingAdvisor.
My father owned a local hardware store for almost thirty years, and I have fond memories of hanging out and working there, with the locally owned stationery story, movie theater, pharmacy, and grocery on the same block. Each successive block was also populated primarily with independently owned businesses, usually operated by their owners, most of whom lived nearby. Most businesses were local; when you went to a different town, the stores were noticeably different.
During the last few decades, locally owned businesses have steadily given way to chain retail stores and restaurants consistently providing us with the same, usually bland, experience no matter where or when we stop to make a purchase. Now, it appears, the recent “golden age” of retail seems to be coming to an end.