… and I feel a bit conflicted.

Tonight I was clicking through news articles when I came across a list of Big Box retailers that are closing a good number, if not all of their stores. A part of me is sad and a little fearful, each store that closes counts for hundreds of jobs from the basic cashier all the way up to the manufacturing business that will be set back by that loss of clients. We’ve been watching closely as the unemployment rates have kept growing and this a part of that. Along with the loss of jobs we have empty stores, locations that were probably empty lots no more than 15 – 20 years ago. Now we have empty buildings built only for the purpose of these monstrous chains; the environmentalist part of me cringes to thinks of these buildings rusting and falling in disrepair as they are left empty.

However, a part of me is elated, incredibly elated. Saying good bye to these big box, single purpose stores and restaurants is a dream come true in many ways. However this is all coming from a person who’s idea of splurging is buying something not on sale and has wondered what it was like when you couldn’t go into a new town and be able to figure out where the Best Buy, Applebee’s and the Wal-mart within a matter of minutes because New Town’s main drag looks just like Old Town’s main drag.

I wonder apart from the previously mentioned problems with all these closures, is America shrinking? And is this a bad thing? Is it a bad thing to be rediscovering quality over convenience? Or to know the enjoyment of knowing the person who raised your food or made you art?

The optimistic side of hopes that with this comes a new reinvestment in a smaller and simpler way of life though the realist side of me knows what unemployment and a stagnant economy mean for a country with our population, but I can dream right?