Out-of town stores

Government and Society
"Advantage/ Disadvantage" Questions

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task. Write about the following topic.

In some countries, small town-center shops are going out of business because people tend to drive to large out-of-town stores. As a result, people without cars have limited access to out-of town stores, and it may result in an increase in the use of cars. Do you think the disadvantages of this change outweigh its advantages?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your knowledge or experience. Write at least 250 words.


Model Essay

In many countries the world over, small shops in city centers cannot compete with large stores that are based on the outskirts; therefore, many of those small businesses are threatened with closure. This leads to a number of consequences, including a rise in car usage in these countries and access to large out-of-town stores becoming limited for those without cars. In my view, this change does more harm than good.

Increasing bankruptcies among small town-center shops are an unfortunate situation that puts local people to great inconvenience, with those who are not in possession of a car standing most affected, because they now have to travel to a distant place to shop.(2) The time used for such journeys could be better spent on other activities that are of greater importance, be it work or entertainment. The situation’s impacts are also far beyond individual levels. It causes a significant loss for the economy of any city where large numbers of such businesses are forced to shut down. This may inflict unexpected damage on the national economy as a whole.

The rise in car usage caused by people’s demand for long distance travel is also problematic. Traffic congestion will become worse due to the higher number of vehicles on streets. Furthermore, the quantity of pollutants emitted from car engines will rise, which heightens pollution levels in those places and adversely affects human health.

However, this change in people’s shopping preference may encourage them to move to out-of-town areas to live. Given the fact that modern cities are faced with overpopulation and consequently ever-growing pressure on housing supply systems, this could be considered a start of relieving such pressure.

In conclusion, the trend towards shopping in large stores located away from city centers is having many negative impacts. Although it could encourage some people to move to places where these stores are established and help solving some population problems in modern cities, I doubt that the trend could promise any significant outcome.

(329 words)


To compete with something or somebody
To be threatened with something
A rise in something
Increasing bankruptcies among small town-center shops
To cause a significant loss for the economy of any city
Traffic congestion
To adversely affect human health
To be faced with overpopulation and consequently ever-growing pressure on housing supply systems

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