Friday, August 15, 2008

BJ's = death of the supermarket?

Two giant BJ's Warehouse Club stores are planned for Brooklyn - one off the Belt Parkway in Bensonhurst, and the other at the site of the old Key Food Warehouse at the Brooklyn Terminal Market in Canarsie.

"These club stores put everybody out of business. When they are no longer profitable, they close, leaving behind an empty building and a neighborhood in decay."


City supermarkets a dying commodity

According to the Neighborhood Retail Alliance, BJ's stores gross more than a million dollars a week in sales and attract around 7,000 cars a day. Their impact on the existing supermarkets would be nothing short of devastating.

The BJ's Wholesale Discount Club's anti-union policies and the $45 membership fee it charges - an astronomical figure for many residents of these areas - are troublesome enough. Even worse is that as a matter of policy, BJ's stores do not accept food stamps or subsidies under the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program. This makes it all but impossible for the community to benefit from their discounted prices.


Question: Why is the city council so against Walmart, citing their anti-union policies, but BJ's gets a pass when its policies sound worse? Does BJ's have lobbyists with deeper pockets?

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is only a demonstration of Darwinian process:

First the supermarket eats up the neighborhood grocers.

Then the mega-market swallows the super market!

There's an even bigger fish out there somewhere waiting to gobble
the venerable "BJ's".

Perhaps the recession?

With shrinking $$$$ available to us, we've got to be more frugal even at these discount depots!

italian girl said...

Supermarkets deserve to die. Most of their prices are ridiculous. A loaf of bread -$3.79? You have always be on the lookout for a "sale". The community(except a few elderly people) will not be loyal to their local supermarket if the prices continue to rise. They will be loyal to their wallets. As for stores like BJ's, you can save money. You really have to know your prices. And it also depends on how often you shop there. You have to take into consideration the annual fee. Buying in bulk just doesn't work for everybody where storage can be an issue in our small apartments/houses.

Anonymous said...

I used to go to a BJ's and there is no way in hell you can shop there without a car. Buy even a moderate amount of stuff and try to lug it home on a bus. Doesn't even matter if you live close. Forgettaboutit. I let the subscription lapse and go to my neighborhood market which thank god, is still open.

Where are the environmental a-wipes, bike freaks, and our great green mayor on this issue? Oh, they're probably in aisle 176-c stocking up on 25 gallon tubs of snack mix.

Anonymous said...

@italian girl,

yeah, prices are awful, but the markets themselves make very low margins on most goods. Its really more because of agriculture and gas price increases. BJs can be cheaper because they can take advantage of scale, but as the previous commentor points out, you really can't walk there like a neighborhood market.

italian girl said...

Anonymous said...
"yeah, prices are awful, but the markets themselves make very low margins on most goods. Its really more because of agriculture and gas price increases."

I totally agree. But no matter what the reason is, people will go wherever they can save a buck. In my area, there's a drug store on every block. What's that about? I have no idea how they stay in business. Their prices are also crazy with the exception of some "sale" items. Personally, I buy almost everything at Target. Their regular prices are pretty good. No need to wait for the "sale". The only things missing there are produce and meats. That's when I go the local supermarket.
As far as buying in bulk to save money. Yes it does, if you have a huge car or mini-van to lug it home and lots of room in your home to store it all, which I don't unfortunately.

Wade Nichols said...

Question: Why is the city council so against Walmart, citing their anti-union policies, but BJ's gets a pass when its policies sound worse? Does BJ's have lobbyists with deeper pockets?

Indeed. Why is Whole Foods allowed into the city, they also are anti-union? Could it be because they are a "Stuff White People Like" type store, i.e. upper income white liberals shop there to flaunt their sophistication while they buy overpriced organic produce? Whereas Wal-Mart, which does indeed lean towards Republican candidates, is a store patronized by "Joe six pack types who drive pickup trucks".

How about Home Depot? There's several of those stores in the city, and they are also anti-union. I've heard anecdotally from someone who works for Home Depot that they do "pay people off" in the form of charitable contributions in order to be allowed in NYC. So perhaps you're onto something regarding BJ's.

Where are the environmental a-wipes, bike freaks, and our great green mayor on this issue? Oh, they're probably in aisle 176-c stocking up on 25 gallon tubs of snack mix.

Not simply "snack mix" of the kind that the lower class proles buy, but organic and vegan snack mix!

Anonymous said...

Am I the only person that cannot do all their shopping at these places? Fine, they are good when you want to buy the brands they carry, or if you have a use to buy 2 loafs of bread, and hope the second wont go bad by the time you eat it, but I find it difficult to do 1 stop shopping at these places. I ALWAYS have to go to the regular supermarket or butcher to buy better meat, or brands of food or products that BJS doesnt sell. They are useful to a certain point. Beyond that.... it is naive to think that neighborhood supermarkets will be shut down because of them. And like the previous poster stated....not everyone has a car to lug these things back and forth... and forget about bringing this stuff home.... unless you live in a private house...where are you going to store all these things... even then sometimes space is tight.

no fatties please said...

bj's-costco and its ilk are ridiculous

unless you own a deli or small business or have a waltons sized family

half of the crap goes bad and then you have to have the space to store it

my observations tell me since these stores have become part of the landscape the obesity rate has gotten out of control

sure 99oz box of frosted flakes and the 96 count eggo waffles along with your table sized sheet cake for the kids birthday party

at one time i considered moving to new jersey

all it took was a trip to sams club with my father in law and i was like no way

all these fat bastards with their minivans and overweight kids buying all this junk food

thanks but no thanks

i shop at trader joes and for meat the local butcher and get veggies and fruits at the market near my office

stop and shop is as bulk store as i will get and i only buy water and ice cream for my dog there

yes my dog likes ice cream especially stop and shops 2 for 5 brand

Peter said...

There's a BJ's in College Point, just a few hundred yards down the road from a Waldbaum's that seems to be doing just fine. As is the Target in between them. Warehouse stores do not replace supermarkets; they serve two different needs.

Here in Forest Hills, the opening of the big Stop & Shop and Trader Joe's (not to mention the upscale Amish Market nearby - and of course the aforementioned BJ's just a 10-minute drive away) did not result in any of the Key Foods, C-Towns, Trade Fairs, or other local markets in the neighborhood closing. In fact, the Key Food at 71st and Queens Boulevard has recently upped their game, with a nice renovation and a better selection of food. Good for them. They saw the challenge and rose to it, rather than whine "it's unfair!" to a Daily News reporter.

Wade Nichols said...

all these fat bastards with their minivans and overweight kids buying all this junk food

You must not ride the subways much or walk on any streets in the 5 boroughs too often. "Fat bastards" aren't just limited to mini van driving rubes in the suburbs!

no fatties please said...

wade said

"You must not ride the subways much or walk on any streets in the 5 boroughs too often. "Fat bastards" aren't just limited to mini van driving rubes in the suburbs"

actually i do you must be one of those minivan driving fat bastards
lose some weight you fat fuck!

Anonymous said...

Let's just say obesity in the inner cities, where people don't have minivans, is rampant.

Wade Nichols said...

actually i do you must be one of those minivan driving fat bastards
lose some weight you fat fuck!


Au contraire!

I haven't owned an automobile since 1992. Unfortunately, I have to ride the subways with the rest of the slobs (such as you), or at least until the MTA establishes a "first class car" for those such as me willing to pay the premium.

Also, I'll be in Central Park tomorrow morning, running 15 miles as part of my NY Marathon training. By the time I finish, you're probably just rolling out of bad, after a Friday night of beer drinking and other debaucheries.

Anonymous said...

hmmmm.
wade nichols....


1) doesn't drive
2) speaks french
3) brags about his "wealth"
4) runs ny marathon
5) has something against beer drinking and debaucheries


i suspect "wade" may be gay.

Wade Nichols said...

1) doesn't drive
2) speaks french
3) brags about his "wealth"
4) runs ny marathon
5) has something against beer drinking and debaucheries


That list sounds like you're describing John Kerry, rather than me!

Anonymous said...

john kerry? he brags about wealth. never heard it.

you still haven't denied you're gay.



well.

Anonymous said...

Guess what? If employees want a union they can have one - no matter how "anti-union" an employer is. The thing is, employees usually DON'T want a union. And the union knows it. They can't get enough BJs or Wal-Mart employees to join. So they blame the "anti-union" company and try to prevent new stores from opening.

And about the "recession"... the economy isn't doing great, but it's NOT a "recession." You could look it up.

Massaman Khulid said...

1. There are no shortages of supermarkets in NYC. There are bodegas and Asian supermarkets springing up everywhere. The Asian markets have the freshest produce and meats.

2. Wade -- so what if you're gay. We enjoy reading your opinions, however misguided. You sound like a self-hating log cabin republican.

georgetheatheist said...

Wade Nichols wrote: "I have to ride the subways with the rest of you slobs...or at least until the MTA establishes a 'first class car'..."

Reminds me of years ago being in Paris and riding their Metro where indeed they do have 2 classes of subway cars: first class and second class! Can you, fellow egalitarian American, believe this? I had a second class ticket when a train came into the station. The car was crowded but the first class one was not. What the hell! I boarded the first class one and the conductor saw the second-class ticket and promptly threw me out at the next stop. (Tres mechant! Ooo-la-la-la-la-la-la!)

Anonymous said...

Skip the megamart and the supermarket as much as possible this time of year and get yourself to the farmer's market!

Queens is woefully underserved with them compared to other boroughs, but they are around in some areas--and one nice thing I can say about Atlas is that they have one on Saturday morning.

I think it's a great way to directly support a local farmer and in return get fresh, in-season veggies and fruits! I go to one in Greenpoint (yeah, I know it's not in Queens, but I happen to be in that area on Saturday mornings) that also has a local dairy selling their goods, a local bakery, a local meat farm (more lamb than beef), a local cheesemaker, a NJ apiary (honey harvester), and a small local preserves/jams company.

Anonymous said...

Names like Craig, Bruce and Wade are always highly suspect, if you catch my drift.

H-m-m-m, maybe Mr. Nichols does spend some time at the "tea rooms".

Anonymous said...

not that there's anything wrong with that.

Wade Nichols said...

you still haven't denied you're gay.

You still haven't denied you have more than a passing interest in farm animals.

Wade -- so what if you're gay. We enjoy reading your opinions, however misguided. You sound like a self-hating log cabin republican.

When you say "we" in the above statement, are you including yourself and your latin american pool boy that's in your room with you right now?

Names like Craig, Bruce and Wade are always highly suspect, if you catch my drift.

H-m-m-m, maybe Mr. Nichols does spend some time at the "tea rooms".


As the saying goes, "He who screams faggot the loudest usually is one!"

Last time I was in a "tea room" was an enjoyable place at the Summer Palace, just outside of Beijing, China, with my very female wife. But the closest thing to culture you'll ever get is a cup of yogurt. Loser.

tony said...

Wadey said "Last time I was in a "tea room" was an enjoyable place at the Summer Palace, just outside of Beijing, China, with my very female wife." Is that a human female?

tony said...

Wadey said "Last time I was in a "tea room" was an enjoyable place at the Summer Palace, just outside of Beijing, China, with my very female wife." Is that a human female?

Anonymous said...

i'll bet it's a she-male

Anonymous said...

Way to stay on topic folks. You all just proved how narrow minded and pathetic you all are. Resorting to school yard bantering of "i didnt hear you deny you were gay..so you must be.."

This is the great cultural fabric that is Queens. A bunch of middle aged NIMBY white trash biggots. Give yourselves a round of applause.

Queens Crapper said...

Yes, because only middle aged white trash bigots resort to name calling or get off topic.

No one here has stated their age or race. Sounds like someone is jumping to conclusions. Kind of like an Archie Bunker would.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"This is the great cultural fabric that is Queens. A bunch of middle aged NIMBY white trash biggots. Give yourselves a round of applause."


No, no, no you've got it all wrong. I'm not middle-aged. I'm really a very agile 98.



Beyatch.

Anonymous said...

"Yes, because only middle aged white trash bigots resort to name calling or get off topic."

On this blog...yes.

Queens Crapper said...

Not true. Ridgewoodian is a prime example.

Anonymous said...

I am not middle aged, white or a bigot. And I love this blog.

Anonymous said...

BJ's stores do accept food stamps. They better than the regular supermarkets.