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The Chicago Tribune reports this morning that the City Council will consider a bill that would prevent retailers from closing stores and then keeping other competitive businesses from taking them over via restrictive covenants.

The bill has been prompted in part by a Safeway-owned Dominick’s store that was closed a year ago. The Tribune reports that “the 54,000-square-foot building remains vacant, and neighborhood residents who once walked to the store now take buses or beg rides to full-line grocery stores miles away.
Pete's Market, a local grocery chain, wanted to take over the space. But Dominick's has blocked Pete's and every other grocer from using the space inside an aging shopping plaza by placing a restriction in the deed that bars grocery stores.”

The paper notes that Dominick’s is hardly alone is using such covenants; Wal-Mart has long been criticized from having a similar policy.
KC's View:
Restrictive covenants prove only that these retailers don’t really give a damn about the neighborhoods and people they serve…and are a bad idea in terms of public relations and image maintenance.