Tuesday, September 25, 2012

To no surprise, 7-Eleven's invasion taking toll on the mom-and-pop shops

[Photo via BoweryBoogie]

Last Thursday, the 987th new 7-Eleven opened in the area, this one on Delancey at Suffolk, as BoweryBoogie reported.

Today, The Wall Street Journal takes a look at the convenience store's continued aggressive push into the city.

An excerpt:

In the 1990s, it was the Gap and Starbucks, and in the new century, Dunkin' Donuts and Subway sandwich shops have sprouted on what seems like every corner. Now 7-Eleven, the Dallas-based company that bills itself as the world's largest convenience retailer, is positioning itself to take on New York. It has plans to open 30 new outlets over the next five years, making it among the city's fastest-growing chains.

A staple of suburbia, 7-Eleven now has about 100 stores across the five boroughs, according to a list compiled by the company, with at least a dozen more expected to open by year's end.

It has grown 72% between 2008 and 2012, according to Jonathan Bowles, executive director of the nonprofit Center for an Urban Future, ranking it among the five fastest-growing retailers with 50 or more stores in the city.

And what does these mean for the city's existing deli and bodega owners? Doom. A deli owner on Eighth Avenue said that his business has been cut in half in the month since a new 7-Eleven opened near his shop. "It is the first retailer that could pose a direct threat to one of the idiosyncrasies of New York City: its thousands of corner bodegas and mom-and-pop green grocers," writes Sumathi Reddy.

Back to the article:

A similar refrain is heard in the East Village. Near a two-month-old 7-Eleven close to the once counterculture corner of St. Mark's Place and Second Avenue, bodega owners say they saw an instant hit to their bottom line when the store opened, with sales decreasing on everything from coffee and soda to hot dogs.

"We are trying to do different things," said the owner of Gem Spa, across the street. "We have to add. We are thinking of adding something. We don't know what to add."

We don't need Zoltar outside Gem Spa to tell us what the future will hold here if people continue to take their business to 7-Eleven across the street.

For further reading:
7-11 Zombification (Jeremiah's Vanishing New York)

Previously on EV Grieve:
A quick East Village 7-Eleven inventory

7-Eleven to complete suburbification of East 14th Street

7-Eleven alert: Are 2 chain stores replacing Bar on A and Angels & Kings?


Anonymous said...

Why do people insist that 7-11 is Suburban? with the odd exception, I associate them with larger or mid-size cities.

Anonymous said...

i refuse to go to 7-11..I'm trying to keep my corner EV bodegas in business!

glamma said...

How can we start a boycott against 7-11? That a crap chain from TEXAS (the worst state out of 50) that serves poisonous toxins at the expense of our health and that of the planet, can threaten to take out Gem Spa, a NYC cultural icon that birthed the egg cream for godssake, is an outrage and a travesty and i cannot stand by while our elected officials sell the soul of the city right out from under our feet. This is f*cking insane

Resident Angel said...

We need a resistance movement against 7/11. And community zoning resolutions against these kinds of chains invading our neighborhoods. Long live the Mom and Pops!

Anonymous said...

What's interesting about the perception of 7-11 is that in the suburbs, 7-11's are kind of the trashy institutions that have been around forever. They are a visual staple of many built-up towns - run down and almost seedy.

BabyDave said...

It seems simple. Just don't go there.
But where is the St. Mark's deficator when he could serve the greater good?

RyanAvenueA said...

7-11's franchising efforts are unrelenting. I'm wondering if there's any converters who own the bodegas that are buying into the 7-11 system. I hate chains in the neighborhood, but I imagine these guys are looking at it as an opportunity to get better purchasing power thru nationally negotiated wholesale pricing. There's a reason the franchising works, I just don't want it to work here.

Pumpkin Patch said...

Just a little more information, while 7-11 is headquartered in Dallas, it is a Japanese owned (and ultimately controlled) entity.

This isn't meant to be a xenophobic post (looks like most of the vitriol is directed towards the state of Texas anyway), just a general comment.

BabyDave said...

This is the guy to do the job:

Anonymous said...

Why in the world would this be an issue for "the elected officials"?? The elected officials should stay the hell out of most things, including this one. Don't patronize the store; it won't survive. These bodegas presumably would be losing just as much (or more) business in another (and actually clean) "bodega" opened next door.

In the outer borough I grew up in 40 years ago, there were plenty of 7-elevens, and even more delis and bodegas. The delis, virtually all run by italians, was where you went for quality food. 7 eleven was where you went past midnight (they were open 24 hours), or for a slurpee, or for a microwaved burrito. They co-existed for decades.

Now, if you want to say that the "elected officials" should ban those hideous signs, I am with you 100%.

abrod said...

7-Eleven will win because mindless people will go to it. People who have no regard for the bodega, for whom "Two and a Half Men" is entertaining, for whom a Toyota Camry is ideal transportation: People who just don't care; the lowest-common-denominator.

As for Texas: Yes, the worst state in our union is the one where NASA spent 60+ years ensuring the success of its missions; where the police chief of the capital city has just put out a pro-LGBT message. It is a hell, indeed.

(My point: Come on even I learned way back that there's more to places like Texas than is convenient for us to write them off)

Anonymous said...

Here's an idea- bodegas sell overpriced stale crap- and many sell crack pipes and fake ID. If they had better products than 7-11 this wouldn't be an issue. Also, local 7-11 franchisees are NYers trying to open a business than might survive and make some money. I know thats evil in Obamas America- but stop with the idiotic comments. NYC for decades has had crappy bodegas selling stale food for ridiculous prices. The owner wants to know what to add? How about something that is actually fresh? Thats a noved idea!

glamma said...

Rich corporations are destroying this country (and planet). Bodegas are not corporations. NYC is being plowed down by generic chains. We are in the midst of a mom-and-pop-icide. You can vomit up a 7-11 in ten days; the Gem Spa took decades to build. Bodegas are unique and warm, chains are homogenized and cold. Irreplacable institutions are being decimated by conveyor belt bastions of crap.... Do you fail to see the implications on our neighborhood here? This is a bigger issue at hand..

Anonymous said...

Maybe this will motivate those corner grocers to up their game: clean the stores, better lighting, reasonable prices, and actual fresh food.

Although 7-11 doesn't really seem to sell much of anything. The selection of items for sale is awful. Good for a bit of ice cream I suppose.

Anyway, I always shop at St Mark's Market. Great selection, prices are OK (for NYC), produce is fresh, staff all very friendly, and...open 24 hours. I hope Met Foods goes out of business with their creepy paranoid surveillance security and the evil eye.

- East Villager

Anonymous said...

They also think it's okay to kill unborn human beings. Corporate supports MDA (Muscular Dystrophy Association), who endorses and encourages embryo stem cell research which kills a newly created human being. Maybe they think it's okay to abort a disabled unborn human being. Join me.

DrewRabbitclub said...

Bodegas should run an negative ad campaign like the el paso salsa companys'. Instead of yelling "NEW YORK CITY?" they should say "TEXASS?!"