The Craig Fahle Show

Can Mom-and-Pops and Big Box Retailers Coexist in Detroit?

Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014

This week “Ye Olde Butcher Shoppe” on Woodward announced it will close 16 months after opening its doors. The family says bad luck contributed to the closure -- including 60% loss in revenue after Whole Foods opened in Midtown.

Is there room for support and viability of mom-and-pop shops alongside big box stores such as Whole Foods? Should large chains be favored for tax breaks in the city of Detroit?

Michael Solaka, co-owner of Ye Olde Butcher Shoppe, tells the Detroit Free Press, “A lot of people felt that no matter what we did that we wouldn’t make it against Whole Foods ... I can categorically say that we believe that is not true. Because

stores like this co-exist with Whole Foods all over the country ... But Detroit is Detroit. So we had more challenges, more headaches, more expenses, more delays because it is what it is."

The Solaka brothers also wrote in a statement,

"There is no doubt that when they opened, our sales dropped by 60% and have remained close to that ever since.

We were also a bit blindsided by the lower pricing structure Whole Foods was able to put in place at the Midtown store.”

We have a panel in studio to discuss development, the Detroit retail climate and the trend in national retail.

Our panelists are as follows:

Robin Boyle, Professor and Chair of Urban Planning at Wayne State University

Eric Younaan Director of Strategic Initiatives at Chaldean American Chamber

Amy Haimerl, Business and Entrepreneurship Writer at Crain’s Detroit Business

Olga Stella, Vice President of Business Development at Detroit Economic Growth Corp