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What really happens when a grocery store opens in a food desert?

Hello, Apexians, and welcome to another week.

It’s my first week of curating links from the comfort of my new home in Corvallis, Oregon. I love it! I moved down about ten days ago (and Kim moved down this last weekend). It’s a great place. I think we’ll be happy here. Very happy.

You know what else makes me happy? Money news!

How much should you pay for second-hand clothes? [Vox] — “With new items, the sale price is generally fixed to reflect the labor, shipping costs, overhead expenses, and profit markup that go into maintaining a store’s virtual and physical operations. Pre-owned garments, on the other hand, have a wider margin for fluctuation.”

“What I learned visiting two cutting-edge Amazon grocery stores. [Full Stack Economics] — “Amazon’s extensive knowledge and experience running complex supply chains—and owning Whole Foods over the last four years—would make it a formidable competitor even without its Just Walk Out technology. Add in the no-checkout technology, and incumbent supermarkets have a lot of reasons to worry.”

Lastly, here’s a short interview that really hit home for me.

What really happens when a grocery store opens in a food desert? [NYU News] — “Between 2004 and 2016, more than a thousand supermarkets opened nationwide in neighborhoods around the country that had previously been food deserts. We studied the grocery purchases of about 10,000 households in those neighborhoods. While it’s true that these households buy less healthy groceries than people in wealthier neighborhoods, they do not start buying healthier groceries after a new supermarket opened. Instead, we find that people shop at the new supermarket, but they buy the same kinds of groceries they had been buying before.”

I grew up poor. My family had pretty lousy food habits. As an adult, I’m constantly battling these deeply-ingrained instincts. It’s tough. I want Hostess Sno-Balls. I love Hamburger Helper. I don’t like salads. So, it doesn’t surprise me at all that food deserts aren’t the actual problem with nutrition for poor people. I have money now and I still make shitty choices with food!

And that’s all I have for you today. I’ll be back tomorrow with more interesting stories about personal finance (and more). See you then!