When I was in Pella, I think the only store I recognized in the downtown area was a Hallmark store. It made me realize how much franchises have changed the course of commerce:

> The growth of franchises has helped facilitate long-distance relationships, be it family or friends. It’s easy to give a gift from your local mall, knowing the recipient can easily return it to their branch of the same store at their local mall. 

> Spanning geography also comes in handy for service, like buying a car in one city and repairing it at a dealer in another state. 

> There is a sense of comfort due to the familiarity. You can go to a new town and know what restaurant has food that you will like, you know how it is prepared, and you have a good idea of the price range before you enter. The adventure may be gone, but chances are higher that the place will meet your expectations because you know what you are getting before you go there.

> On the down side, places now look so much more homogeneous, even in Europe, because the same stores are everywhere. There are many fewer “local” establishments that give character to the place. It used to be I knew I was in Chicago because of Marshall Fields and New York with Macy’s, but now Macy’s has no allure because it is everywhere.

Franchises and the growth of chains are one more way that we are all interconnected, but don’t get complacent about the chains being “your” stores. Keep in mind they are part of a larger enterprise and a portion of the profits go elsewhere. This weekend as you’re out spending money, be intentional where you do so. Buying local doesn’t mean the local chain.

beth triplett

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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