For many, including yours truly, it was actually surprising to see El Amal hang on for as long as it did. Anyone who has visited Puerto Rico probably noticed the strong presence of Walgreens, the largest American drugstore chain. In my neighborhood alone, within a five mile radius, there are three
Most American fast food and retail chains do very well in Puerto Rico. In fact, KFC and Wendy's are both expanding their franchises on the island. This is not only bad news for the ever-growing obesity problem but it is also a mixed blessing for the local economy. As we've seen with El Amal, many Puerto Rican businesses have become affected as they lack the massive capital and economies of scale to compete with these huge American corporations. On the other hand, these companies do create jobs and pay taxes. Aside from Capri and Pitusa (both are discount retail stores) there aren't many local retail chains. The same goes for fast food, except for my beloved El Meson Sandwiches. While the statehood issue has always been a subject of ongoing debate on the island, the majority are ebullient when it comes to the arrival of yet another Gringo-owned retail store or fast food chain.