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Malibu Worried About Its High-End Boutique Problem

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Poor wealthy Malibu, a victim of its own success. The Guardian reports that some locals are unhappy since the city has gone from this: "a sleepy seaside town, a place where surfers could shop at family-owned markets alongside celebrities such as Goldie Hawn and John McEnroe" to this: "'Paparazzi Zone' placards now dot the Spanish stucco walls of Malibu's plazas. There are celebrity Rolls-Royces and BMWs with blacked-out windows in the car parks, and yachts owned by billionaires such as Larry Ellison and Roman Abramovich often occupy the sun-drenched bay." Residents are blaming the Beverly Hillsification of Malibu in part on rent hikes that have "forced small shops out and brought higher-end boutique stores in" (including Missoni and James Perse--yes, in Malibu, Missoni is the new Pinkberry). One resident tells the paper, "People think that because this is Malibu, everyone has tonnes of money and they don't mind spending $10 on an ice cream or $500 on a T-shirt. But not everyone's rich, and not even the rich people want to waste their money like that."

Back in October, the city council asked staff to look into putting restrictions on businesses to keep shopping local. The Malibu Times reported then that " City staff submitted a wide range of potential strategies for the council to consider to aid independent businesses in town, including placing limits on the number of chain stores or types of shops such as high-end clothing stores." The council also asked for info on developer incentives "to encourage developers and landlords to provide favorable rents to small independent businesses." They also signed off on money for a shop local campaign.
· Malibu loses its character as celebrities and chain stores take over [Guardian]
· Council proposes retail restrictions [Malibu Times]