I’ll have much more (I hope!) to offer on this later. For now, though, I want to list a couple of statistics and then to return to my hard cider, which I enjoy before I must, somewhat unwillingly (I drove a John Deere tonight! I never have that opportunity in Maryland.), leave Indiana for the East Coast. These are really loose figures — and this is a really rambling post –, but they should give the reader some idea of the massive amount of ground coverage detailed.
At any given time, approximately three hundred and fifty Wal-Mart stores sit empty, the victims of relocation and/or expansion.
In Nineteen ninety-nine, the average empty Wal-Mart covered sixty-two thousand and fifty-seven square feet.
That’s about five hundred acres. Area dedicated to parking at a Wal-Mart sometimes as much as triples the acreage of the store. Estimating conservatively, we’ll go with two-and-one-half times. That takes us to about twelve hundred and fifty acres.
Think, now, about how many more Wal-Marts have, probably, closed their doors, about the increased size of stores — and the size of Supercenters and concomitant parking lots –, and the number of abandoned Home Depots, Lowe’s, and so forth. And don’t forget about shopping malls and strip malls. Stacy Mitchell, in 2000, wrote that, according to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, about five hundred million square feet of retail space sat empty (almost eleven thousand, five hundred acres!); acres of unused asphalt surround most of those vacant spaces.
Anyone not see something wrong with this?