• We're a fun, friendly, and diverse group of planners, placemakers, built environment shapers, students, and other folks who found their people here. Create your FREE Cyburbia ID, and join us today! Register through your Reddit, Facebook, Google, Twitter, or Microsoft account, or use your email address.

Article - Briggs: Kroger tried to block competition. Fishers outsmarted it.

JNA

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
24,660
Points
50
https://www.indystar.com/story/money/2017/12/29/kroger-made-savvy-play-block-competition-fishers-just-outsmarted/985451001/

HIGHLIGHTS:
For Kroger, buying the extra stores was a way to block competing grocers from entering or expanding in the market. It was a smart strategy.

The Fishers City Council earlier this month made a zoning change that stipulates former grocery store buildings can only be used as grocery stores, as explained in an article by my colleague John Tuohy.
That means Kroger is required to either open up the shuttered store at 116th Street and Brooks School Road or give it up to a competitor.

The city allowed Kroger to make a business transaction under one set of regulations and then changed its zoning rules in a way that is likely to cost Kroger money
Does your fair community have a similar zoning restriction in place to
consider Fishers' example and take preemptive steps to protect their shopping corridors from the inevitable ebbs and flows of the fickle retail sector.

Article mentioned:
Kroger claims zoning change in Fishers will hurt business
https://www.indystar.com/story/news/local/hamilton-county/2017/12/20/kroger-claims-zoning-change-fishers-hurt-business/966192001/
 

Wannaplan?

Galactic Superstar
Messages
3,135
Points
27
It sounds like the Town rezoned the vacant grocery store sites to a zone that allowed just one use, a "Grocery Store" use.
 

Doohickie

Cyburbian
Messages
1,669
Points
25
Interesting, because a grocery chain here (HEB) has the same practice of buying out vacant stores to keep competition out.
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
12,520
Points
40
Looks like a regulatory takings lawsuit to me.
Yep. I hope Fishers is ready for a costly lawsuit from a $27.3 Billion (May 2017) company. Not too mention all the other commercial real estate owners in the City that are affected (intentionally or unintentionally) by this zoning restriction.

In my area, the City recently passed an ordinance limiting deed restrictions, which was the common mode of blocking competition.

http://www.rockfordparent.com/article/20140905/NEWS/140909558/0/ilvets.ltc.k12.il.us
I'd really like to see the specific reasoning used by Fishers for their zoning restriction and Rockford's for theirs.

For Fishers - all grocery stores are not operated the same and therefore not all are "desirable".

For Rockford - How do you enforce such regulations of private restrictions? And they have to determine the existing such restrictions predating the ordinance in order to reduce the definite likelihood for claims of legal non-conformity.

Plus, this statement from the indystar article woefully misunderstands the deeply problematic nature of this regulatory effort.
Yet, if you have an interest in maintaining high standards in your community, then it's hard not to have at least some respect for what Fishers did. Kroger was savvy. Fishers was savvier.
 
Top