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The letters reviling “Mom and Flop” (12/26/97) reveal the typical liberal distrust of personal choice. If D.C.’s numerous liberals choose not to patronize “sterile and lifeless” CVS, fine—fewer people in line for me. Let the rest of us decide for ourselves what store to go to. And, please, no knee-jerk condemnations of being a corporate sellout when all I want is some batteries.

Big chain stores are good things, and if you didn’t have one in your neighborhood, you’d want one. For example, the Rite Aid at 13th and U. It’s right across the street from the Metro, perfect to pick up milk or toilet paper or whatever you need on your way home from work. Before the Rite-Aide, the options were tiny, dingy stores with little selection and high prices. There was a mom-and-pop store near where I live. It was so small that it couldn’t accommodate more than two or three customers at a time. You had to be buzzed in. It was like a glorified pantry, with dusty cans stacked along the walls. You couldn’t get any kind of bread except Wonder, and you were playing with your health if you got any dairy products from their barely cooled refrigerator. The prices were always high: $1.89 for a 2-liter soda vs. 99 cents at Rite Aid.

So let’s not get sentimental about small stores. Big stores are cheaper and have a greater selection, and, most importantly, urban dwellers have taken their dollars there. It’s their choice.

Dupont Circle

via the Internet