Sunday, October 25, 2009
Most of the population of Michigan is the area known as "Metro Detroit." It consists of Detroit and the areas surrounding it, until one gets about to Novi... or 20 some miles East of me. (Okay, technically, Livingston County is part of Metro Detroit, but really, it's so far out that the designation is, in my opinion worthless... see the red circle on the map?)
Now, believe me, I'm happy not to live in "Metro Detroit" because I'm NOT a city girl. But there are some problems that comes with not being part of that congolmerate of urban life.
My TV commercials are all geared towards those who dwell in Metro Detroit-- or at least have little aversion to making an hour plus trek out of the sticks and into the concrete covered land. Time and time again, there are advertisements for stores and restaurants that are miles and miles from where I live.
Take for instance my recent trek to find and purchase a new winter coat. Being a picky bugger and not into this years "hip" coat fashions, there was discussion about how and where to find one. My husband was also looking for a jacket and suggests going to Burlington Coat Factory. Supposed to be great selection and good prices-- according to the commercials.
Okay... google google. Oh. The nearest locations is... an hour away. And pretty much all the locations are in places that are foreign and terrifying. We finally picked a location-- one at the gigantic mall Great Lakes Crossing. This was selected because most of the journey is on roads I'm now familiar with. And, I know the mall is RIGHT off the e-way. (We were successful procuring a new winter coat for me. And then we missed our entrance ramp and ended up taking a different route home, but it was all good, because, like I said, I knew the roads.)
Most of the chains have never made it out to the sticks. And in recent years, oddly enough, several chains that had spread out this way actually retreated back into Metro Detroit. We lost our Dunkin' Donuts and our Little Ceaser's locations in Livingston County, for example.
We're not Metro Detroit, but we're not small enough to be a small town. We're kind of a strange in-between. If the folks here weren't so keen on driving miles and miles to get to the chain stores, we might just have better luck nurturing more home grown stores. But, being so 'close' to Metro Detroit (and Ann Arbor) we've got a bit of a problem with being a bedroom community.
It's good... and bad. It's those people moving OUT of Metro Detroit and trying to bring the live they left with them out here that ruins it.