Retail Exodus Speeds Detroit's Fall

Retailers jump ship as recession, auto industry's collapse hit city hard
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2009 5:32 AM CDT
A pedestrian walks by graffiti in downtown Detroit late last year.   (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
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(Newser) – The auto industry's woes have sped up the long decline of retail in Detroit, the Wall Street Journal reports. America's 11th-largest city now lacks a single outlet from any national grocery chain downtown. Starbucks has just four stores in the city of 900,000, and as of last week, Motor City residents can't even buy a Chrysler in town.

Nearly a quarter of Detroit's people are now out of work. The lack of tax revenue, and the consequent cutback in city services, is causing increased problems like slower police response times for the retailers that remain. The city, trying to lure back retailers, maintains that opportunities still exist to make money in Detroit, and notes that low-income retailers like Family Dollar Stores are thriving.