After years of unrest among some locals in East Hampton, the movement to limit chain stores in the hamlet is gathering momentum.
The town’s five-member board will discuss a resolution next week to require “formula stores” to obtain a special permit and go through a public hearing process before setting up shop, the New York Times reported. The resolution defines a formula store as a retailer with 15 U.S. locations that sell the same merchandise.
The movement began in earnest after a 7-Eleven arrived in Montauk four years ago, though some critics pointed to the arrival of luxury retailers in East Hampton Village over the last few decades, according to the newspaper. Some in the anti-chain store set say those retailers are for rich visitors, while others think the loss of the town’s quaint, mom-and-pop character could actually hurt the vacation industry.
Critics of the resolution include landlords, who do not want to deal with additional layers of bureaucracy when renting out their shops, the Times reported. [NYT] – Tom DiChristopher