Most Americans like big box chain stores, but nevertheless people tend to back zoning laws that would keep them out of certain communities.
Wal-Mart, Target, K-mart and similar stores are some of the largest and most popular places for Americans to shop for food and household items, but these chains - and other big-box stores - carry with them their fair share of controversy. Some communities have made a point of keeping big box stores out of their area, or at least have put limits on how large the stores can be. Most notably, New York City has for a long time fiercely fought attempts by Wal-Mart to open stores in the city.
The latest research from YouGov should please bigbox owners and workers, however, as most Americans (61%) have favorable views of big box stores. Less than a quarter - only 22% - of Americans say that they have unfavorable opinions of big box stores.
When asked whether they favor or oppose zoning laws that would prevent big box stores locating in certain communities, the picture is more mixed. By a small margin the public tends to favor (42%) rather than oppose (37%) these zoning laws, though this is largely driven by a significant partisan split. Independents and Republicans tend to narrowly oppose zoning limits on big box stores, but most Democrats (57%) tend to support these rules while only 24% oppose them.
People in the Northeast, where opposition to the expansion of big box stores is often most vociferous, are the most likely to say that there are 'too many' big box stores in their community, with 24% saying that there are too many - though even here nearly half (49%) say that there are the 'right number' of big box stores and 12% say that there are too few. In the South, in fact, people are more likely to say that there are 'too few' (21%) big box stores than that there are 'too many' (13%).
Full poll results can be found here.