Saturday, August 13, 2011

Editorial: "Fresh & Cheeky"

Something haunts me about that comment from the Fresh & Easy spokesman “This is America!” which he quipped in reply to an audience member who inquired (at the STNC General Meeting) with concern for other markets in proximity to F&Es proposed location in Tujunga.

There was an uncomfortable silence while the speaker realized the reaction from his peers in the UK would be different from these Americans. Then again maybe he was safe as the audience didn’t quite get it… I certainly did not know Fresh & Easy was not an American company until that cheeky remark, and then I knew it in an instant.

The answer to the question is: he doesn’t care because this is America where free enterprise allows the total destruction of competition. This is especially true when your company reportedly idolizes Wal-Mart and patterns its future toward that American scheme, I mean dream. It turns out unions aren’t welcome at Fresh & Easy and locals, if hired, are only given 20 hours a week at $10 an hour. Period.

Four years ago Fresh & Easy promised to build in ‘food deserts’ where there was a shortage of good food markets for the starving public, yet they did not open in Watts (or Sunland)… they open where other stores exist and want to open in Tujunga with the likelihood they will close three other markets…that’s great marketing: ‘get one, loose three’.

Sure I love a good market and will shop there if and when Fresh & Easy opens but I think the sore spot left by loosing Trader Joes to nearby Montrose (a nod to John Drayman) made the STNC act without due diligence as to F&Es plans and expansionist ideas. (Also see the article on Assembly Bill 183 nick-named the Fresh & Easy Bill against underage liquor sales.) So what if there’s an Albertson’s, a Smart and Final, and Foothills Market all within the same census tract? That won’t last.

And about that cheeky retort “This is America!”?
That was the remark of one capitalizing on America, not celebrating it.

1 comment:

arspoetica said...

I had not known that Fresh & Easy is using a slash-and-burn economics model ala Walmart -- where did you discover this important little factoid? Do you have any elucidating links?