TLP: This Won't Last Long Once Walgreens Hears About It
The classic European newsstand, with its stacks of newspapers, dozens of magazines, cigarettes and postcards, appears headed the way of the American drugstore. Both were once pretty much focused on the basics of their business, but have drifted to a point where almost anything goes.
The NYT reports from Rome:
Kiosks, here and across Europe, have increasingly become like mini-shopping malls, to a degree that would surprise even New Yorkers accustomed to buying sodas and candy from corner newsstands. Customers hunting for the latest issue of Corriere dello Sport can also find dinner plates and encyclopedias, which are shoehorned among copies of Chinese Vogue, Der Spiegel and The Economist. Plastic food containers, toy Vespas and CDs featuring obscure chamber music ensembles or weepy Italian pop crooners compete for space with the usual postcards, guidebooks, weight loss DVDs like “SOS Cellulite” and beefcake calendars of Roman priests.Wal-Mart is blamed for vacant storefronts on Main Streets across America. Is the same fate in store for the quaint streetcorner kiosks of Rome, Madrid and Berlin once the European equivalents of Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid catch on?