Globalisation of Place

It can be argued that globalisation has reduced the importance of place because local cultures have been homogenised. For example, large companies, like TNCs, are ever-more present throughout the world, making places seem like clones of each other due to the recurrence of the same shops and businesses in many towns and cities. In the UK, this has been described as a clone town – essentially, it means the high streets are dominated by chain stores rather than independent businesses. These places have also been described with the word ‘placelessness’. This has been resisted by some communities. In 2012, Costa wanted to open a store in Totnes, South Devon. Three-quarters of the town signed a petition to say that they supported the independent high street and would boycott any coffee shop chain which moved into the town. They wanted to prevent Totnes from becoming a clone town. Having said all that, a form of globalisation which often occurs when companies move into different places is glocalisation. McDonalds, for example, has 36,000 restaurants throughout 100 countries, and to maximise profits, the company adapts products to fit the local market. In Hindu countries, beef has been removed, and in Germany, frankfurter hotdogs are a regular part of the menu, unlike in the UK.