No chain groceries in Detroit - no money either

Sociologists call the scarcity of urban grocery stores vs. the abundance in suburbia "the grocery store gap." It's particularly wide in Detroit, the nation's beleaguered 11th largest city, where there are no chain grocery store outlets within the city limits.

The Wall Street Journal(subscription required) opined on this phenomenon recently, and then CNNMoney.com followed suit.

Detroit isn't alone. Last year, the Washington Post bemoaned the lack of conventional groceries in both Washington DC and New York City, and mentioned a similar situation in Philadelphia. In New York, the mayor's office appointed a "food policy coordinator" to encourage the opening of more grocery stores.

In Detroit, where the unemployment rate is 22.8%, the school system is considering bankruptcy and 30% of the population gets food stamps, the lack of conventional grocery stores doesn't get a staff position.