Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Yogurt Event Horizon (with apologies to Douglas Adams)

At this time last year, there were exactly zero frozen yogurt shops within, say, three miles of my house. At least, there were none of which I was aware. I suppose there may have been one in the city somewhere, but I never came across one through my normal walking or driving habits.

Currently, there are three frozen yogurt shops within one mile of my house – two of these are less than one block away from one another – and at least three more new shops have popped up in the areas I drive around in nearly every day. There may be more than three; it’s getting hard to keep track. There is also a new shop in the town where I work, and last night I discovered yet another new one in a nearby city. They are all the self-serve frozen yogurt places, the kind where you take a huge empty cup, put in your own yogurt and toppings and the price depends upon the weight , but none of them are the same chain.

I’ve only tried out one of these new shops. It’s in a small strip mall near my house in the site of a former bakery. It was very tasty, but I kind of miss the bakery. I used to get birthday cakes from there. One of the newest yogurt shops just opened up a month or so ago, in the spot that used to be where I got my glasses. If this keeps up, I’m not going to be able to buy anything that isn’t frozen yogurt. Bakeries, opticians, drugstores, grocery stores, shoe stores… all will become yogurt shops. Nothing but yogurt shops as far as the eye can see.  

So let me ask you this: Why is this happening? And is it happening where you live? Why are we suddenly overrun with self-serve frozen yogurt shops? I mean, I like self-serve frozen yogurt as much as the next person, but do we really need three in a one mile radius? It’s kind of creeping me out. I fear that soon, it will become economically unviable to build any store other than a yogurt shop, the economy will collapse, and society will cease to function. And that can’t be good for anybody.

9 comments:

Jessica said...

There are also several frozen yogurt shops by me and I have yet to even try one. Apparently everyone else must be eating great quantities of the stuff to keep them all in business.

I really *want* to try it, but I never seem to think of it. If I want ice cream-ish stuff I go to Dairy Queen. (Of which there are also several by me.)

meanliving said...

Yes, it is also happening here in Portland, OR. The one nearest to my house isn't open at all on Sundays. WTF? How does that work? Doesn't matter, though, since I never go for any of it. Ben & Jerry's all the way, baby.

Swistle said...

I have not yet seen yogurt shops, but we are having a similar issue with doughnut shops. When recently a child wanted a doughnut cake for his birthday, and he had very specific (but common) doughnut types he wanted, and inexplicably one doughnut shop after another had one type but not the others, I was able to easily go to FOUR different shops within just a few miles.

Sleen said...

Not happening that I know of here in Michigan, but your post brought the line "Now all restaurants are Taco Bell" to mind.

Remember that movie?...

Christy said...

I'm afraid I may be contributing to the trend. In a moment of desperation, I promised my 3 year old if he can go a week without potty accidents (previous record was 5 days) we will go to the "ice cream store" which is really the self serve frozen yogurt store. Tomorrow will be 3 weeks without an accident and he talks constantly about coloring in his chart so we can go to the ice cream store.

pseudostoops said...

Yes, here too. We have three on one block. Yes, it's a long block, but still. Three. One block.

I think part of it has to be that these shops are SUPER low overhead, so it's a low-cost business to enter. But you'd think that these budding yogurt entrepreneurs would recognize that 8 storefronts away from the next-closest yogurt shop is perhaps not an ideal business location.

KarenAZ said...

Any reference to Douglas Adams makes my day, thank you!

Yogurt shops are breeding like fruit flies around here (PHX, AZ). 90% will close in 18 months. Three years ago it was dinner prep shops (dream dinner, entrees made easy, etc). Now there is one left on our side of town.

Erica said...

I didn't hear anything past frozen yogurt. MMMM.... frozen yogurt.

erin said...

it is happening here in the Chicago area, as well. We had one TCBY not too far from here (about 2 miles or so)but all of a sudden, when I drove the 20 miles to a store today, i saw like, 5, at least 3 of which were different chains and none of which were TCBY. Its crazy!