Is the expansion of hypermarkets harmful to health?

By: Trademagazin Date: 2023. 09. 06. 11:56

The expansion of hypermarkets has long been a contentious issue in the Western world, with protests often accompanying the construction of large shopping centers from the United States to Europe. Critics argue that these megastores suppress local businesses, reduce employment, lower wages and working conditions, hinder unionization, drive down property prices, increase traffic, and draw people away from city centers, ultimately hollowing out local communities and small businesses.

In Hungary, the government has also tried to limit the expansion of foreign-owned hypermarket chains using various administrative measures, primarily motivated by economic nationalism rather than concerns for the common good and market competition.

Empirical research on whether these concerns hold true in Hungary is limited. However, in the United States, where the impact of Walmart’s expansion has been extensively studied, results have been mixed. The largest American hypermarket chain, Walmart, has been found to lower food prices, not eliminate small businesses, and minimally impact local employment, and in some cases, even increase it slightly.

Walmart’s presence, however, has negative effects on health and crime rates and raises questions about its environmental impact. It’s important to note that Walmart is not as well-known in Europe, particularly in comparison to Aldi and Lidl. Walmart’s story illustrates the complexity of hypermarket effects, with both positive and negative consequences on various aspects of society and the economy, making it a subject that requires further in-depth research and consideration.

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