Small businesses feel threat
f chain stores in Ann Arbor
aontInued from Page :A
"A local business owner said he wor-
ied about 'someone three states away
n a board room making a decision
tbout our downtown,"' Kolb said.
One of the benefits of having inde-
* ent businesses in the downtown,
shaman Drum Bookshop Manager Jeff
ordan said, is their ability to provide
;pecial services or products to the con-
;umer bigger stores cannot.
Jordan said the recent closing of Main
Street News was a blow to downtown.
"Main Street News was the best news
store in the city," Jordan said. "We used
to send people there who were looking
for something we didn't carry."
But others said the community
ild not jump to the conclusion that
the closings reflect any kind of a trend.
Ann Arbor Mayor Ingrid Sheldon said
issues of consumers' wants and needs
come into play.
The closings "are not a reflection of
the quality of the businesses, but of the
way people shop," Sheldon said.
"There is a changing dynamic, particu-
larly with the clothing industry."
,ay Marsh, former owner of Main
Set News, knows how important the
consumer is to the survival of an inde-
pendently owned business.
"The bottom line was that people
didn't buy," Marsh said. "I would see
cafes packed with students sitting with
their laptops, but I very rarely saw stu-
dents come in."
Marsh said larger chains can afford
to stay in the downtown area even if
they are not making a huge profit. That
can force independent businesses to
shut down, she said.
"The era of small independent busi-
nesses in the U.S. is done," Marsh said.
Many residents fear the downtown
area will lose its unique flavor with
larger national chain stores. The loss of
the variety of voices among business
owners concerns people, said Michele
Kelly, owner of Afterwords, a book-
store on Main Street.
The national chains "make the
downtown more homogenized," Kelly
said. "The independent businesses are
Economics Prof. George Johnson
said he thinks the closings illustrate a
growing economic trend.
"There is a move toward stores like
WalMart and K-mart;' he said. "The
little places downtown are getting
squeezed out. Large chains can also
afford to advertise, and Americans are
very susceptible to advertising."
But being aware of the problem and
working toward solutions is the first
step, Sheldon said.
"There are good things happening in
town:' she said. "There is a tremendous
redevelopment occurring on South
Main. Yes, some businesses have
closed, but others are opening.
"We are truly the envy of every com-
munity in Michigan," Sheldon said.
Continued from Page 1A
After the audition, Penhorwood was upbeat. He said he
took advantage of the upcoming series' location - Hawaii -
by depicting himself there. "Me in a hulu skirt - it works,"
he recalled saying to the camera.
Roger Marine, an Engineering first-year student, also
auditioned. But Marine got a surprise after his 60 seconds
on camera. A woman whispered in his ear to follow her out-
side to the back of the tent. She handed him a thick packet
of papers and told him he'd made the first cut for "Road
Marine said he talked about the most embarrassing
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The upcoming "Road Rules" will follow six people as they
cruise around the world, stopping in such places as Vietnam,
Cuba, Kenya and South Africa. Cameras will film virtually
everything, and film editors will take on the arduous task of
editing quickly as the action continues.
"The Real World," which was the first of the MTV shows,
will scrutinize the lives of seven people as they live in Hawaii
for six months.
But auditioning for a TV show was not the only attraction
yesterday. Five tents, each sponsored by a different corpora-
tion, offered amusing things to do and see.
Lifebeat. a music industry organization, had a tent that pro-
moted AIDS awareness by distributing pamphlets and free
Bruce McDonald, program manager, said the condoms
have been popular on campuses, but he noted that stu-
dents at some schools take many more condoms than oth-
Old Navy's tent featured popcorn and a game challenging
people to guess the number of jeans stockpiled in a large bin,
offering a $1,000 gift certificate to the winner.
And in Intel's tent, a futuristic musical instrument that
looked like a drumset played musical notes determined by the
movement of people's hands.
After its stop at the University, the tour cuts across country
to Auburn University in Alabama. Fourteen crew members
are on board for the tour.
The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 29, 1998 - 7A
Continued from Page IA
Gandhi addressed questions from the
audience Tuesday on topics ranging
from Palestine to gay rights to the death
The Ann Arbor Police Department,
the City of Ann Arbor, the Interfaith
Council for Peace and Justice, U-M
Dialogues on Diversity and the Ann
Arbor Public Schools are among the
long and varied list of sponsors for the
"This really is a community-wide
effort," said Tobi Hanna-Davies,
director of the Interfaith Council for
Peace and Justice.
Many other local religious and cul-
tural organizations are contributing to
This year marks the 50th anniver-
sary of Mahatma Gandhi's assassina-
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