Supermarket access in the inner cities

Rodolfo M. Nayga, Zy Weinberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


One of the most pressing problems in urban America today is the serious shortage of supermarkets in many inner cities despite America's abundant food supply and state-of-the-art food distribution system. Since the 1950s, numerous supermarket chains and independent grocers have departed low-income inner city neighborhoods. Consequently, inner cities have been left with smaller and less accessible stores that are generally unable to provide both the quality and variety of foods needed for a healthy population. In addition, these smaller stores are often unable to offer affordable prices to inner city households. Supermarket access in the inner cities is an important issue that has not been fully addressed by any sector. This paper attempts to reignite debate about the plight of inner city neighborhoods by discussing some of the critical issues, challenges and opportunities facing the development of supermarkets in poor urban neighborhoods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-145
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Retailing and Consumer Services
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Jul

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The development of a major supermarket today requires a multi-million dollar package. Often, a combination of vehicles to pool available investment capital is necessary to advance such a project. Some possibilities include public sector community and economic development programs such as the Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities, Community Development Block Grant, Urban Development Action Grants, Small Business Administration Guaranteed Loan Programs, Community Services Block Grant, and Public Housing Funds. These programs all share one basic tenet: they are sources for community based initiatives that are an outgrowth of locally identiÞed needs. Additional public/ private sector community investment and banking programs include the Community Reinvestment Act, Local Initiatives Support Corporation and The Retail Initiative, National Community Development Initiative, Community Development Financial Institutions, Pension Fund Investments, and Tax Credits and Incentives.


  • Inner cities
  • Retailing
  • Supermarket access

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing


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