Dark Store Strategy

Is It Just Business?

Dark Store

A business/tax strategy associated with big box retailers has surfaced: http://www.ilsr.org/dark-store-tax-tactic-makes-big-box-stores-terrible-deal-for-cities/

“Property owners sometimes prefer, instead, to use the sale prices of comparable properties. This was the approach that Lowe’s took—with a catch. Lowe’s looked at the definition of the word “comparable,” and decided to stretch it. It said that, because big-box stores are designed to be functionally obsolescent, comparable stores are those that have been closed and are sitting empty—the “dark stores” behind this method’s name.”

Some data:

  • An average Lowe’s store has sales of ~$30M and net profit of ~$2.6M
  • An average Meijer’s has sales of ~$70M, net profit estimate $3-5M

The key question: Why would a business take advantage of the very people and communities that support that business? Perhaps the folks in Marquette, MI have asked that same question.

Lowe’s and Meijer’s have responded:  “This is just business”.

At some point businesses/organization have to decide if they are doing what is right for the community that supports their business….or is it maximizing profits at any cost.



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