That's neither here nor there. What I wanted to mention: the article finally hits on something at the very end...
Today's field, though, may not be the future's. Superstores live and die by generous zoning, massive inventory, co-op money, and deep discounts.
The reason for the rise of big box book stores, clothing stores, hardware and home supply stores, etc is simple: the car. When our nation, over time, moved away from the walkable, cohesive neighborhood and toward the suburban development with retail centralized on quasi distant former farmland, we made a choice on multiple levels about our collective future. Every choice has consequences, and some of them don't show up for a long, long time. We're finally starting to feel a delayed after effect of this particular choice every time we fill up our gas tanks.
If we ever start moving back to a nation of communities rather than a nation of suburbs and blighted urban centers, we'll probably see some of those mom & pop businesses again (whether that's a good or bad thing will depend to some extent on how pleasant those businesses are).
Suzanne Kelly and boyfriend Keith pose in Suzanne's "Bridge Street Bookshop" in Phoenixville, PA. It's a lovely place; the kind of small bookstore you dream about... if you're a book freak that is. She's in a newly revitalized pedestrian friendly, cohesive downtown and doing quite well, thank you very much.