We owe it to ourselves as a community (and by community I mean every one) to research thoroughly every advance we make toward improvement. I desire the same things as other stakeholders in Sunland Tujunga: including a purportedly wonderful food market with fresh new ideas and merchandise. However, according to the simple research I have done about Fresh & Easy, we all need to ask more questions of them. An article from the Sunday Times in the
UK dated August 4, 2007 when they first decided to take by storm is revealing both in its scope and personal experience from Fresh & Easy’s country of origin. California
I’ve been advised that an STNC board member has taken my inquiry in a personal way; such is not my intent as I do hope Fresh & Easy will overcome obstacles and become our new neighbor. But I naturally want my new neighbor to abide by the rules of my neighborhood, not change the rules to their benefit and my detriment. According to the calls and e-mail I’ve received, Sunland Tujunga has issues with alcoholism, underage drinking and DUIs. It does not bode well that an Assembly Bill concerning liquor licensing has to be created for the sole purpose of dealing with an issue arising from a merchandiser from another country.
I also feel empathy for the other markets in the same census tract that should be equally supported by our STNC and FBCSP. Smart and Final, Foothills Market, and Albertsons are stakeholders too; in fact Albertsons was a model of decency when they bought the whole rundown Luckys site, remodeled it to perfection, then rehired all of Luckys displaced employees to serve our community faithfully. To allow a foreign market to move in without due diligence at the expense of an established American one is just plain wrong.
Questions to ask Fresh & Easy:
*Why can’t you have one or two manned checkouts for customers making alcoholic purchases?
*What percentage of our community do you intend to hire for a store in our community?
*Why can’t they have more than 20 hours of work?
*Are benefits full? Partial? Paid for by Fresh & Easy? Paid for by the employee?
*What percentage of middle and upper management is American?
*What will you do if unions (which are protected by American civil rights) petition to organize in your stores?
*What support (Youth, Arts, Schools) do you intend to give back to our community who supports you with our purchasing dollar?
Here are some other links to Fresh & Easy information sources:
[EDIT: here are more telling and interesting links; the first is F&Es own blog as they go after Targets interests and marketing strategy: http://freshneasybuzz.blogspot.com/
And here is one detailing behind the scenes health issues http://ocvoice.wordpress.com/2008/03/06/tesco-invasion-critics-say-fresh-easy-same-as-wal-mart/ and comparison to Wal Mart practices http://www.forbes.com/2008/01/14/tesco-walmart-arizona-markets-equity-cx_vr_0114markets19.html ]