It has been for a while since I started gathering information about this topic. The intention which motivated me to write this is the current economic climate.
There were blames on corporate companies for their irresponsible profit centric attitude which considered one of the reason for the current economic downturn. There are two ways to approach it. The collective failure of legislators to regulate the country, economy and the market with a long term vision. The second one could be the corporate recklessness.
Regardless of what damages had been done to the economy, I have found this local economy structure is fascinating. In a different and parallel perspective to the documentary, “Walmart- The high cost of low price”, I am writing this. In many ways, the documentary seems arguably fine. However, blames itself does not solve the problems. We ought to think beyond.
During these four year of my residence in Ireland, I have seen a supermarket system which I find sustainable to the society and I think similar approaches could benefit the small local economy. The title says itself “Corporate empowered corner stores”. What if all the big corporates started to offer small franchise across the country where local people will get goods delivered to their store and share the profit, instead of a big mall/supermarket in the outskirt of the town/village. I think that could lead to a sustainable supermarket franchise system where people get products at reasonable price while sustaining their jobs and businesses. Starting from groceries to hardware, all the items can be sold through various franchises.
Now you may ask what is the benefit to the corporates.I think this system can enable higher volume of sales while giving them credit for their social responsibility, which in turn can lead to a sustainable local and broader economy.
Centra is a local supermarket and a corner store in Irish towns and villages. Each store is run by private franchisees and the stores get supply from a big corporate company called Musgrave. You can learn more about them by following the links.
The way the supermarket operates is really promising in terms of sustainability of the business. You may easily find at least two stores in any Irish town and minimum one in any village. Centra is only a grocery store, but what if that model could be expanded to clothes, hardware etc, you name it.
I think a business model similar to what Musgrave operates is something should be achieved through the rest of the world with proper regulations. Shared profit and sustainable business can prevent places becoming ghost towns and cities due to closure of local businesses.
With a competing corporate, it has always been difficult to sustain their business in economic hard times as people always prefer cheaper price, which most of the time the local stores unable to meet. In such a situation, corporate empowered corner stores can be a way forward.