Supermarkets are checking out of city
BY FRANK LOMBARDI
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Tuesday, April 22nd 2008, 4:00 AM
The city is losing $1 billion in sales each year to the suburbs because of a shortage of supermarkets, according to city planners.
A study discussed yesterday by the Planning Commission determined that virtually every neighborhood throughout the city lacks enough supermarkets, and the ones that exist are generally too small.
That means that city shoppers flock to the suburbs to do much of their supermarket shopping, and the number of supermarkets is shrinking even as the city's population is growing.
Commenting on the study by her staff, Planning Commission Chairwoman Amanda Burden noted that the lack of supermarkets is most severe in areas of the city with high rates of obesity and diabetes.
The study noted that diet-related diseases can be aggravated by the lack of availability to fresh fruits and vegetables.
The study said contributing to the shortage of supermarkets are the scarcity and cost of property, which invariably rules out onsite parking, higher labor costs, poor support from supermarket chains, zoning prohibitions and heavy regulations and lengthy approval processes.