I guess we'd need to settle on a definition of cosmopolitan. Though I agree, preference for chains doesn't seem to equate to cosmopolitan behavior. My guess would be that David was using the word to mean that Cleveland is more closed off to outside ideas and influences, based on his observations over the lack of success chains found in Cleveland.
Since this thread inexplicably hasn't been shut down yet, I'll throw this out there. Maybe chains are more hesitant to enter the Cleveland market (and have a harder time succeeding) because of demographics and regional population loss. If we're making hypotheses about this observed lack of chains, that should at least be added to the discussion. Cleveland has a lower average income and its population is less educated than Cincinnati's and Columbus', and Cleveland has been losing population from the city and region for a while. Most chains make location decisions based almost purely on numbers and demographics. Seems like a viable explanation to accompany the natural distaste of chains in the region.
Very doubtful. We're talking about Skyline Chili and UDF, not Saks Fifth Ave., Nordstrom, Whole Foods, etc..... all of which have a presence here in the Cleveland MSA. And the median income difference is what?.... a few thousand? Cleveland's is surely depressed by more poverty in the inner-city. The higher wage jobs are just as prevalent.
Dude... It's not just a few thousand. I was debating whether or not it's reasonable to believe that a few thousand / year median difference might actually have a noticeable impact and was actually leaning towards 'yes' but I just looked up the statistics and apparently there's a much, much broader gap. These stats include the city's MSA which is fairly all-inclusive and relevant. Comparing Columbus and Cleveland's city proper (and especially Cincinnati's) is comparing apples to oranges, considering Columbus is much larger due to annexation of suburbs but this is one of the most fair comparisons and there's still a very stark contrast.
Median household income - Metro Columbus: $58,192
Median household income - Metro Cleveland: $51,049
Median household income - Metro Cincinnati: $56,826
That's a very noticeable difference in purchasing power between the major Ohio metros.http://www.deptofnumbers.com/income/ohio/cleveland/http://www.deptofnumbers.com/income/ohio/columbus/http://www.deptofnumbers.com/income/ohio/cincinnati/
The difference in income between the two metros of Columbus and Cleveland is literally enough for someone to live off of (with mostly basic necessities of course.) I had no idea that such a disparity existed.
I still contend that some of the brands I've mentioned (Donatos and UDF for example,) are premium brands - in the sense that their products are of quality and more on the expensive side, yet they struggle or fail in Cleveland because consumers up here tend to not want to pay premium prices, even if it means they're getting quality.
Disdain for premium brands may be due in some part to lower overall income but then again, being less flashy or hoity-toity and being more conservative with money seems to be the culture of Clevelanders, compared with than the other 2 C's. I'm definitely not bashing it - I actually admire that attitude and lifestyle for the most part. I've definitely noticed that even folks in Cleveland who have a lot of disposable money, will complain about the ridiculousness of prices at various places and refuse to the spend money, based on principle alone. I just feel that a lot of these mid or southern Ohio chains are actually really good and worthy of prospering up here but... just don't.