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Kolb weighs in on death of a supermarket

Kenneth Kolb, chair, Department of Sociology.

Last updated December 19, 2023

By Tina Underwood

South Carolina Public Radio’s Scott Morgan turned to Furman University’s Ken Kolb for a story about the success (or lack thereof) of placing grocery stores in food deserts. Kolb, chair and professor of the sociology department, said the recent closure of a name brand grocery store in Spartanburg, South Carolina, after only 13 months in operation, had more to do with the lack of investment in the community and its people. While Kolb applauds the effort to bring healthy food options to lower-income areas, he told Morgan that the 15-year experiment of incentivizing stores to move into near poverty-stricken areas has run its course and suggested a new approach is in order.

Kolb is author of “Retail Inequality: Reframing the Food Desert Debate.”

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