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Are Chain Stores Choking Our Communities?

Big chain retail locations are a permanent part of metro Atlanta's landscape, but some residents are saying enough is enough. What do you think?


Their names are instantly familiar, their logos immediately recognizable. Some of them represent the world's most famous brand names, while others are well on their way to prosperity and success.

Chain retail stores are as much of the American way of life as hot dogs, baseball and apple pie. And over the past several months, their numbers seem to be growing throughout metro Atlanta.

In Chamblee, a new Zaxby's - which tooks months longer to build than expected because of financing issues - will open on Monday. An old Stone Mountain Dairy Queen has been demolished, and another Zaxby's will soon take its place.

After announcing plans to replace the old Atlanta Diner on North Druid Hills Road, McDonald's now plans a second location on Clairmont Road.

And fast-food chains aren't the only ones proliferating in metro Atlanta lately. Walmart recently broke ground on its newest Supercenter on Cascade Road in southwest Atlanta, directly across from another retail giant, the Cascade Home Depot.

But while a new Family Dollar store is under construction in Lithonia, some southwest Atlanta communties have been actively fighting an influx of Family Dollar stores, and a similar fight against the new Walmart may be brewing.

Walmart is already facing a fierce battle on Decatur's border, as residents have joined together to fight its proposed Suburban Plaza location.

Are chain stores choking our communities? Do we need more of these major retail developments, or are too many already dotting our urban landscape?

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