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Feb-14-2013

What if WALMART took over the Fresh & Easy on 32nd Avenue?

Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets are not doing well for their parent company, Tesco, and as a result, the UK conglomerate is looking for a way to unload their 200 stores.

They announced in an email last month that they don’t plan to close any Fresh & Easy stores in the meantime, but that they are exploring the option of selling the stores to another retailer.

Today the Examiner started the rumor mill churning with mention of WALMART as one of Tesco’s potential buyers for the Fresh & Easy chain.

“I have heard that Tesco is having conversations with Wal-Mart and that Wal-Mart has expressed interest in purchasing Fresh & Easy locations,” San Francisco Supervisor Malia Cohen, who has a Fresh & Easy market in her district, told the Examiner.

San Francisco, in particular the labor unions, has never been very welcoming to the idea of WALMART joining the list of city retailers. But purchasing the Fresh & Easy business would make WALMART’S entry considerably smoother.

San Francisco has three Fresh & Easy markets currently – ours at Clement Street and 32nd Avenue, one at Silver Avenue and Merrill Street, and one at Third Street and Carroll Avenue.

If Walmart purchases Fresh & Easy, they could move into existing locations without too much red tape, including the Richmond District location.

“When stores in special commercial districts (like the Fresh & Easy on Clement Street) shut down, the new tenant usually has to get a special authorization to operate. But if the new company has purchased the old company, no authorization is required,” wrote the Examiner.

So blog readers, how would you feel about a WALMART taking over the Fresh & Easy space? Please expound in the comments.

Sarah B.

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1:54 pm | Posted under Business | 93 comments
  1. engleprunt said (02/14/13; 2:24 pm):

    No.

  2. mark t said (02/14/13; 2:37 pm):

    No.

  3. penelope said (02/14/13; 2:49 pm):

    awesome

  4. DJ said (02/14/13; 2:52 pm):

    This is terrible news. I shudder to think of how this will adversely affect all the mom-and-pop stores in the neighborhood. Anyone who likes this idea and wants to shop at Walmart should be ashamed of themselves and move to the suburbs.

  5. Mike said (02/14/13; 2:54 pm):

    No. (And there are people in the suburbs who won’t shop at WalMart, either.)

  6. M. L. said (02/14/13; 3:17 pm):

    Yes! The grocery stores are already built and operating. Walmart would essentially be rebranding what is already there…a grocery store! Mom and pop stores are already affected by Fresh and Easy because they are already there. Would you rather have empty stores that don’t generate tax money and attract graffiti, crime, and loiterers? Whats the difference between a Target and a Walmart…not much in the grand scheme of the global economy.

  7. jc said (02/14/13; 3:19 pm):

    wouldn’t the fresh and easy store be too small for a Walmart?

  8. Rachel said (02/14/13; 3:24 pm):

    I would not shop at a Walmart.

  9. Ralph said (02/14/13; 3:42 pm):

    ^

  10. Ralph said (02/14/13; 3:44 pm):

    Walmart (as we know it) would not be moving in if they bought Fresh and Easy, there smaller grocery heavy counterpart, Neighborhoods Market would.

  11. David Bloebaum said (02/14/13; 4:03 pm):

    Personally in my opinion, I feel that Walmart is an extremely bad neighbor. They pay less that a livable wage, keep employees under 40 hours, and tell their employees to get food stamps.That means we are paying Walmart’s obligations. If I had the authority I would do anything legal to keep Walmart out of the Richmond district.I would definitely boycot Walmart.Walmart’s sins are too many to list in this blog.They do not know the meaning of fair play. I find very little of social value in Walmart. I do not live in San Francisco at this time , but I will be there soon.
    David Bloebaum&Emma Louise McSweeney

  12. Leanne said (02/14/13; 4:05 pm):

    Hell no!

  13. Alissa said (02/14/13; 4:18 pm):

    OH HELL NO. Empty lot > Walmart.

  14. bicyclesalad said (02/14/13; 4:34 pm):

    I don’t think Wal-Mart would be interested in the space anyway. It’s too small and doesn’t have a monster parking lot that would hold hundreds of cars. And it almost always requires a car to shop at these big box retailers, since their large-unit packaging isn’t practical to carry home on foot. (Yeah, I’ve seen families haul stuff from Costco home on the bus, and it takes at least two adults or several teenaged kids to lug those giant packs of paper towels and cases of canned goods, along with bags of smaller items. Plus the space they take up on public transportation—yikes.)

    I’ve heard people argue that Wal-Mart is great for middle-class families who need to buy clothes and comestibles for growing kids, and that San Francisco is already a tough place to raise children without having an affordable place to buy stuff for them. I don’t like the idea that someone else’s kid in a developing country was put to work making those clothes, toys, and other consumer products, however. Those low, low prices at Wal-Mart are being made up by somebody else’s loss.

  15. Peter said (02/14/13; 4:56 pm):

    no no no no

  16. Matt said (02/14/13; 5:39 pm):

    No No No. Walmart is bad news all the way around.

  17. Khaki said (02/14/13; 6:06 pm):

    Then I would shop there. Never been to Fresh and Easy. But it’s not going to happen….

  18. Sam Foster said (02/14/13; 6:10 pm):

    No Wal-mart for me!

  19. KG said (02/14/13; 6:18 pm):

    No!!! Keep WalMart out of the Richmond and out of SF!

  20. KathrynFK said (02/14/13; 6:30 pm):

    Tesco is basically the British WalMart. Not sure why people would be so much more opposed to Fresh and Easy changing hands when Tesco’s active destruction of communities & poor labor record basically mirrors that of WalMart.

  21. ALY said (02/14/13; 6:49 pm):

    I think WM has no place in SF at all. Besides being huge and generic, they sell a lot of crapy producs and a lot of guns. They are horrible and discriminatory to their employees, and they strong arm their suppliers. NO to WM.

  22. Sue said (02/14/13; 7:27 pm):

    I do not want Walmart coming in up the street from where I live.

  23. Derek said (02/14/13; 8:47 pm):

    F**K Walmart!

  24. S said (02/14/13; 8:54 pm):

    Up in Humboldt there was a plan to have Walmart move in about 14 years ago. A special election was held for residents. the result was an astounding HELL NO. Walmart was not allowed to open.

    I think the “HELL NO” vote should be done here too.

    I would NEVER shop there.

  25. Star said (02/14/13; 9:12 pm):

    I wouldn’t want WalMart just so the clientele in the district would be on the People of WalMart pages. Don’t forget the rift coming from the other parts of the city.

    However I would welcome them if they offered compelling prices and a good selection. Walmart is not all bad folks. They recently offered to hire a large number of veterans. Yes, they are a major corporation however to bash them continously isn’t American. I’m actually supportive of companies that offer a compelling service or product. I don’t see people up in arms with the number of Starbucks open. Guess it is o.k. for people to pay $4.00+ for a drink but are opposed to paying competitive prices for toliet paper.

  26. renee said (02/14/13; 10:30 pm):

    Nope. Not here.

  27. Jean said (02/14/13; 11:50 pm):

    No way.

  28. Seth said (02/15/13; 12:53 am):

    I would not shop there but I don’t shop at Fresh and Easy either. It doesn’t matter anyway because that space is not nearly big enough for Wal-Mart and there is not even close to being enough parking.

  29. RichmondWow said (02/15/13; 8:03 am):

    Speaking of rumors, I heard Trader Joe’s had tried moving in before F&E got there but were turned down by local residents who didn’t want to deal with the traffic increase. If that’s true, it would now seem to be the MUCH lesser of many possible evils…

  30. Paula said (02/15/13; 8:42 am):

    I lived in the Richmond for years, and am now in Sacramento (boo – I’ll move back one day). Walmarts are all over the place here, they multiply like rabbits. They now have a new thing – “Neighborhood Markets” or something, which take up a smaller thumbprint. One of those would fit perfectly into the old Safeway/Albertsons/F&Easy. They sell the basics, but not ‘everything’ like the super stores do. I loathe Walmart, but they have cheap cat litter. That’s about all I go for (and bring my cootie spray, then go to Whole Foods afterwards to take the ‘ick’ away). It makes me sad to think the Richmond (or anywhere in SF) would be fouled by a Walmart.

  31. suzorsooze said (02/15/13; 8:54 am):

    aye… noooooo. i would be so bummed to see one of those EVIL stores anywhere near my house or in SF even.

  32. suzorsooze said (02/15/13; 8:58 am):

    and Star.. you should watch the documentary film on WalMart and do some research on the company. There are reasons why so many people are against this particular corporation.

  33. KristyD said (02/15/13; 9:55 am):

    No, PLEASE no!!! Isn’t there something we or anyone can do to prevent this from happening???

  34. J said (02/15/13; 10:11 am):

    So..no Walmart in the Richmond, but apparently the city has no problem with two targets opening up, on Masonic and downtown… even though they sell basically the same crap?

  35. Danny said (02/15/13; 10:32 am):

    Absolutely not! Who would want Wal-Mart in our neighborhood?! With their deplorable history and reputation, in addition to being the nation’s largest gun sellers. Will they also be selling military type weapons in our neighborhood?! Who do we contact to prevent this atrocity to infect our neighborhood?!

    We must protest against having Wal-Mart in San Francisco, before they invade our city, and if it comes to having Wal-Mart eventually setting shop here, we must protest every day.

  36. BigHeart said (02/15/13; 10:58 am):

    As long as Walmart complies with all laws, such as the minimum wage here, etc., I can’t think of a reason to keep them out.

    From there, let the market decide. If people don’t shop there, it will close. If people shop there, it continues. Either way, taxes will be collected and paychecks will be paid. I haven’t been up to that market since it was the old-school arch-roofed Slaveway (former UFCW here).

    It’s better than a vacant building rotting away. See the empty former Walgreen’s or the Alexandria.

    I really wish people would stop butting their noses into others’ business. Could you imagine if your neighbors were able to vote on which color you could paint your house? If you want that, move to the burbs and buy a house burdened with an HOA and see if you like it.

  37. mrsh said (02/15/13; 11:18 am):

    Trader Joes would be a blessing after Fresh and Easy. I never liked it.

  38. jefferson said (02/15/13; 11:51 am):

    i live 100 feet away. please no. how bout a gigantic beer store?!

  39. Bob said (02/15/13; 1:19 pm):

    The same anti-big-company prejudice on this board is part (OK, a small part, but still a part) of the reason we’re losing F&E (which, with all it faults, has good products at — with all the coupons and cards — very reasonable prices).

    The romance with mom-and-pops astonishes me.

    Labor exploitation? Go work for your Uncle Murray and see what REAL worker exploitation is about. At least minimum wage, sick days, vacation, and overtime are part of Wal-Mart’s vocabulary.

    Customer service? F&E takes back anything I ask it to, no questions asked. Does your Mom-and-Pop? As for smiles, I’ve found they are in equal supply among chain store workers and local store owners alike.

    Prices? You’ve got to be kidding. Yes, 25th & Clement is a fine store. But if I shopped there for the same items as I do at F&E, my grocery bills would be 30% to 40% higher.

    Do I despise what Wal-Mart has done to local communities and Main Streets across America in the past 40 years? Yes, I do. But Wal-Mart has already won that war. Let them come to the Outer Richmond. I won’t be complaining.

  40. Danny said (02/15/13; 2:08 pm):

    Hi Bob,

    This is Wal-Mart we’re complaining about, not all of the other corporations. Wal-Mart who exploits their employees more than any of the other big companies and has the worst reputation of all, and they are also the nation’s biggest gun sellers. Too bad, you surrendered the war.

  41. Mark said (02/15/13; 2:29 pm):

    NO WAY!

  42. Mark P. said (02/15/13; 2:30 pm):

    NO WAY!

  43. Alvin said (02/15/13; 3:22 pm):

    I guess people are fine with mom and pop stores and restaurants to underpay and steal healthcare money from their employees…as long as its not a chain right? sigh….

  44. EDLEE said (02/15/13; 4:10 pm):

    the people saying NO just love driving to target in DC.

  45. Star said (02/15/13; 4:55 pm):

    suzorsooze: I understand and respect your opinion. I just think people should understand that they are the largest employer in the US. Besides that if you are skilled at your craft you would get paid close or above market rate levels (such as at pharmacy dept.) I know this is a semi pro union city and that works against WM however you have to admire them for their global presence and ability to keep prices fairly competitive.

    Their practices are questionable however you have to give them a lot of credit providing consumers especially those that have to penny pinch each month a value prop. Target is getting a lot more love even though you could go to a local Target and not find products that price competitive vs. that of a Walmart.

  46. ALY said (02/15/13; 5:43 pm):

    @BigHeart “I really wish people would stop butting their noses into others’ business.”

    Interesting, we live her, pay taxes, elect representatives, finance improvements, vote on initiative, but our neighborhood, and our city are not our business. Whose is it then, Wall Marts’s?

    As to ” Could you imagine if your neighbors were able to vote on which color you could paint your house? ” Yes, I can. That is how all European cities have been run since Middle Ages. I bet some here would love to vote our pepto bismol pink, or the many shades of lilac trimmed in gold. But if you do not like people having a say in the way a neighborhood looks, maybe you should move to a desert island, or to a ranch in Montana.

  47. Paul said (02/15/13; 8:25 pm):

    About time, their stuff is better and cheaper than those that sold at Target. Would save me a trip to East Bay to visit one. Always had a Walmart just around the corner when i lived in other parts of the country and SF seems the only place where we don’t have one yet!

  48. Holly said (02/15/13; 9:25 pm):

    Hear me screaming NOOOOOOO!!!!!

  49. George said (02/16/13; 12:14 am):

    Only if they promise to bring a Chick-Fil-A with them.

  50. Brian said (02/16/13; 6:34 am):

    Lets not forget there is a Target opening up at Geary and Masonic. Why would Wal-Mart even want to open up so close to Target. Won’t happen.

  51. paul said (02/16/13; 7:51 am):

    Liquor Barn, BevMo…lord knows we need them!

  52. susan said (02/16/13; 9:28 am):

    NO!

  53. sean p. said (02/16/13; 10:29 am):

    This is a joke, right? How do you fit a Wal-Mart in a Fresh n’ Easy space? Remember, the source for this info is Sup. Cohen via the SF Examiner… lol.

  54. Rob S. said (02/16/13; 8:26 pm):

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    WALMART would provide FAIR, COMPETITIVE prices and force mom & pop stores to do the same. People who don’t want to shop there DON”T HAVE TO. The U.S. is a FREE MARKET! SF can’t continue living in this utopia state of mind. The world is changing, and even SF will have to evolve otherwise it will be let behind. SF is a joke for this very reason. Thats why big corporations don’t do business here, and places like LA and NY get all the action. Target is already on mission and soon masonic, so this would be clear discrimination aginst WALMART. BIg city dreams in an outdated state of mind, thats SF in a nutshell.

  55. phil said (02/17/13; 1:53 am):

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    WALMART would continue to provide UNFAIR and NONCOMPETITIVE labor prices and cheap goods that would put MOm and Pop stores of of business. Then locals WILL HAVE NO PLACE ELSE TO SHOP for certain things.

    Anyone who thinks that there EVER was anything called the “free market” doesn’t have the faintest knowledge of economics – domestic or international? Got that, Rob??

  56. phil said (02/17/13; 2:02 am):

    also, @Rob

    “Free market” economies only exist within the minds of economic theoreticians, Libertarians and hapless Tea-baggers. Go ahead Rob, name ONE – just ONE – free market.

    San Francisco doesn’t need to evolve, America does! America needs to catch up with some of the things San Francisco is doing right. Sure, we’re not perfect, but we take care of our own a LOT better than most of America, even though we have a long way to go.

    Yes, Target is coming to Geary, but Target is NOT WalMart. I do worry about the small independent retailers once Target opens, but we do NOT and we WILL NOT let WalMart move into this neighborhood!

    WalMart is a BAD local citizen that underpays its employees and exploits the environment like few others do. I have never and will never buy ANYTHING from that rotten company, and I urge my dellow Richmond neighbors to to EVERYTHING they can to keep WalMart and its bottom-feeding management, and exploitative ways out of our neighborhood.

    Walmart: YOU ARE NOT WANTED! Stay OUT!

    And, who wants to be like LA or NY? If you like those places, I’d be happy to help you plan a permanent move.

  57. renee said (02/17/13; 11:16 am):

    @Rob, Bob, Star, & Paul: You are transplants who have moved here and now want to foist your back-home mentality on the community you have chosen to move into. Maybe you haven’t been here long enough to get the feel of our community. The location is not big enough to accommodate a Walmart, and even a scaled down WM would not fit with the culture of a neighborhood like the Richmond. “The war” is only lost if you raise the white flag and surrender. Those of us who live here because we like Green Apple, The Gables stationery store, one-of-a-kind restaurants, etc. don’t want huge box stores moving in. I’m not thrilled with the Target (oh the traffic!), but that doesn’t mean e should adopt a come-one, come-all attitude. If you must shop in those places, drive to the EB or DC–or maybe discover smaller local stores where you actually support the neighborhood you have moved to.

  58. Danny said (02/17/13; 12:58 pm):

    Wal-Mart is like the North Korea of chain stores. Even Charles Manson says: “If I could, I would not shop at Wal-Mart. And my feet smell like the universe. Booga Wooga Wooga!”
    Don’t do drugs.

  59. 4th Generation Richmond Districter said (02/17/13; 3:47 pm):

    Target replaces what is missing since Sears left. Those of us who have been residents for a long time shopped at Sears for many things, especially since the eastern corporation, Home Depot, had not opened on the old dump in Colma yet. I used the catalog often as the same merchandise was available for less and was very easy to pick up on the way home on a 31BX or 38BX. I have never and do not ever intend to set foot in a WalMart owned business. Ever since I became a Kaiser member, I no longer have any need to visit Walgreen.

    I don’t shop Fresh & Easy and went only once to the Albertsen’s, deeming it too reminiscent of shopping in the midwest when I visited there in the 1970s. I rarely went to that Safeway because there was better meat and produce at Lick. When Lick closed, I shopped Falletti; when they closed I switched to Andronico. I would rather eat less meat, knowing what I am eating than purchase less expensive mystery meat.

    I now get the bulk of my produce once a week, delivered to the Synagogue at 14th and Clement for $14, prepaid every couple of months. It’s all in season and organic. Meat is either from Andronico or Costco; canned goods, cleaners and paper goods also come from Costco. Should I need more produce or dairy I shop at the Geary Produce Market, where I also purchase dried legumes and some spices. Bread comes from local bakeries, where we have a decent selection.

    Planning is key. As I have too many organic navel oranges right now, I plan to make some marmalade which makes a nice glaze on broiled chicken.

    Should the powers at City Hall continue on their insistence of more housing, I urge them to look carefully at what Singapore has done over six decades, where successful projects have included tenant-owned small businesses (single-item food and beverage stalls are common) on the ground level along with strong transit. The second level of many highrises often has more tenant-owned small businesses such as barbers, hairdressers, doctors, dentists, and small specialty stalls offering housewares. While the footprints of these buildings are much larger than what might be available, careful planning could create properties with no more than 16 units and provide possibilities for micro-businesses, not unlike food trucks.

  60. renee said (02/17/13; 5:46 pm):

    Interesting comments, 4th Gen. I occasionally shopped at Sears, and Mervyns when it replaced Sears. Except the day after T-giving and maybe right after the other Dec holidays, Best Buy customers seem to be accommodated by MUNI and the parking lot. Other chain stores, like Radio Shack and Aaron Brothers are low-key enough not to create more traffic pollution and distress to neighbors. The objections to Walmart from most posters are that it won’t fit the scale of existing space, and that its business practices are generally….objectionable. Plus, there’s the gun selling. The Richmond is already experiencing an uptick in violent crime–the last thing we need is a store that sells guns!

  61. Rob S. said (02/17/13; 9:40 pm):

    @renee, phil
    Once again Y-E-S!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Just for the record, WALMART would propel this depressed neighborhood into an actual vibrant living place. Target has added tremendous value to the mission street location and has brought to life the surrounding area. The Richmond could use a boost that would bring the neighborhood into the 21st century. Insted of reminicing about playland, sutro baths ect… allow people with vision to contribute something that generations will be greatful for. Everyone knows SF strives to be the NY of the west, as well as keeping the enviroment in mind. shooting down this rare opportunity before its even looked at is a sign of people that DON’T want change and want to hold others back! Let people make their own choices for God sake! Mom & pop stores WILL BE FINE if a WALMART opend. In anything WALMART would be more likely to close because the mom & pop store have a long standing customer base that will only shop there. Just imagine, if WALMART added a few more stories to the current location and turned it into a modern, beautiful piece of achitecture that the neighborhood could be proud of. Let things evolve and improve, don’t hold the neighborhood back by living in the past.

  62. bicyclesalad said (02/17/13; 10:03 pm):

    @Rob S.

    Depressed neighborhood? The Richmond is one of the more affluent and stable neighborhoods in San Francisco. I’m wondering now if you actually live in the city.

    I moved here from the Midwest, and I can tell you that Wal-Mart is a killer of small towns. As soon as a Wal-Mart moved into the vicinity of a rural city or town, the downtown area went dark. No “Mom & Pop” store (they were really businesses run by partnerships or individuals—”Mom” often worked at a factory or in an office job to supplement the family income as the business didn’t make a huge amount of money) could hold out against the huge discounts that Wal-Mart sold its goods at. Oftentimes residents were forced to not only shop at Wal-Mart under a greatly reduced budget due to their employers shutting down, but work at Wal-Mart at greatly reduced incomes with no benefits.

    San Francisco and the Richmond are progressive communities which believe that everyone living here should have a decent standard of living—a place to live, medical care, good, safe schools for their children, and clean, well-maintained public services, streets and parks. Wal-Mart is not going to contribute to that idea, and I’d frankly be surprised if they opened a store here. They’d be forced to pay into the city’s public medical care system and its higher than average minimum wage.

  63. renee said (02/18/13; 12:32 am):

    @bicyclesalad: It didn’t occur to me until now that Rob’s just kiddin’ with us. Do you think he’s serious when he suggests that Walmart will transform The Richmond’s pathetic 20th century look by building a “modern, beautiful piece of architecture,” bringing a “vibrancy” to the neighborhood? How about his comment that “everyone knows SF strives to be the NY of the west”? Putting aside his claim to know what “everyone knows,” the suggestion that people in SF strive to make SF the NY of the West is ridiculous. Judging by all the NY license plates I see around here and the many people I know who have moved here from there, you can assume that not everyone wants to live in NY or wants SF to become NY (heaven forbid). No, Rob, I’ll wager that the majority of people who live in the Richmond will happily pass on the “rare opportunity,” as you put it, to have a Walmart in our ‘hood. Your idea of “improvement” is to destroy the character that many people moved here for or stay here because of. How about moving down the Peninsula? El Camino has tons of big box stores–so progressive, so 21st century!! And there’s always the EB–another progressive enclave–where you’ll find soul-less Walmarts with enormous FREE parking lots! If we took a vote and the majority waived Walmart in, I would have to accept it, but , like Phil and others who have posted here, I don’t think that will happen.

  64. Thomas Miller said (02/18/13; 2:46 am):

    There are many items at Fresh & Easy that I like, but it is a store of limited size. (I don’t care much for self-checkout, but that’s me). I read months ago that Wal-Mart was looking to open small neighborhood grodery-only markets. The reasons this wouldn’t bother me are: They would be confined to the same small space, they would be selling groceries which is consistent with the current practice, and they wouldn’t be able to expand. I don’t know their prices very well but if they are similar to Fresh & Easy the competition with smaller stores wouldn’t be any more so than it already is. And of course, I’d rather not have another empty store. I guess the best alternative would be for someone to buy the chain and keep them operating under the same name in a similar style.
    (Speaking of empty stores, why isn’t anyone interested in the former Cala?)

  65. Administrator said (02/18/13; 8:35 am):

    @Thomas – A Grocery Outlet will be opening where the old CALA was, in late June /July. More detail here:

    http://richmondsfblog.com/2012/10/16/grocery-outlet-to-open-in-former-delanos-location-at-28th-geary/

  66. George said (02/18/13; 12:58 pm):

    @Rob S.
    Since when does Walmart stand for architectural beauty??
    And since when did Walmart become a 21st-century business? It’s a modern variation on a 19th-century plantation model.

  67. George said (02/18/13; 3:13 pm):

    Oh.

  68. phil said (02/18/13; 9:18 pm):

    @rob Now I know you’re “just funnin’ ” with us, when, inregard to placing a WalMart on 32nd and Clement, you write: “allow people with vision to contribute something that generations will be greatful for”

    LOL! “vision”? “contribute something” ? “generations will be grateful for” ? LOL!

    either rob is just funnin’, or he has a a bad case of URD (Urban Ruination Disorder). If that’s the case, might I suggest a cure? A grand tour of WalMart stores, one after another, for a year. That will have you running for the hills, Rob, or a place like San Francisco, which has not yet succumbed to the “way of plastic”.

  69. Greg said (02/19/13; 10:54 am):

    I live on 32nd and strongly object to a Wal Mart, think of all the other crap that will follow as a result. I’m not really a huge fan of Fresh N Easy either but it’s no Wal Mart.

  70. Greg said (02/19/13; 10:58 am):

    @Phil.. Rob is either trolling, being sarcastic or smoking some really good shit.

  71. Star said (02/19/13; 7:34 pm):

    renee: Nothing wrong with supporting small business. I support them myself. However it is also good to look at other business ideas as they come up. Everyone should just wait and see what gets proposed before jumping the gun. And I do agree that there are some less desirable results that come from certain establishments. At least people are banding together somewhat from this open discussion. Last thing the community needs is a vacant space and have scum filter the area. Good solid business ideas will tend to last even though it is not for everybody.

  72. Rob S. said (02/19/13; 8:12 pm):

    @phil.greg,renee
    Let me just make something clear, I’m not from NY, I am a proud, 4th generation san franciscan that loves the city and belives it can be improved. It’s sad that people are so aggressive and hostile that claim to acctually care about this neighborhood. Going to the point of calling me a troll and drug addict over me stating my opinion just shows that every city has is nut jobs. Some people here are not concerned at all about bettering this community, and really shouldn’t even post comments and pretend that they care. Stop living is a fantasy where people throw their money down a drain to over priced stores that take advantage of there neighbors. Small businesses throughout the country every day are able to stand toe to toe with large chains. So why not here? The businesses that are in place don’t want to play fair! Charging 2,5 or 10 times the retail price for the same crap you can get elsewhere is what these small businesses do. WALMAT will force them to play fair, and lower there prices so they SB will no longer be making a killing on every sale they get. And yes, WALMART would compleatly rebuild the fresh & easy location and turn it into a fantastic piece of architecure the neighborhood will be proud of. Living in denial saying that this neighborhood is vibrant and the best it can be is ubsurd. Wake up people! Realize that nothing big has happened here in the las 100 years, its about time something did. Playland, cliff house-now WALMART.

  73. phil said (02/19/13; 10:02 pm):

    @rob who wrote: ” Small businesses throughout the country every day are able to stand toe to toe with large chains.”

    Rob, no offense intended, but your spelling is atrocious, which tends to bias me toward the point of view that you are not well read, including not well read about current events, commerce, or public policy.

    Risking that you are not a troll, I will adds this: I dare you – in fact I will even put money on the table – to show me how WalMart’s mega-stores have not gutted the retail infrastructure of 1000′s of small cities and towns across America. Do you have any idea where WalMart gets its cheap goods? Can you spell “sweatshop labor”? Do you remember the recent fire in a clothing factory in India, where many young persons were burned alive because their supervisors wouldn’t let them leave their work positions, even though they knew there was a fire raging a few floors below them?

    Rob, there is a difference between stupidity, and ignorance. A stupid person is someone who knows better, but spouts or acts in ways that s/he knows don’t result in. An ignorant person can be an otherwise intelligent person, who simply doesn’t understand the facts, but can redeem himself by getting an education in the matter at hand. I think you’re ignorant, relative to this issue, and that you need to some serious remediation and reading up on WalMart, and what that company has left in its wake.

  74. Paula said (02/20/13; 8:02 am):

    ” And yes, WALMART would compleatly rebuild the fresh & easy location and turn it into a fantastic piece of architecure the neighborhood will be proud of. ”

    No, it wouldn’t. All the Walmarts look the same, and they’re all ugly.
    Also, they appeal to the lowest common denominator of humans. No one from Sea Cliff will be shopping there. Check out the People of Walmart website to get the idea. It will attract an undesirable crowd, take my word for it. I’m not talking about regular people who’ve had to start pinching more pennies because of the economy, or decent folks who just want to get a deal on a thing or two. I’m talking about the kind of people who make you shudder. Bless their souls, but I don’t think you want them in the neighborhood.

  75. Frank Valkov said (02/20/13; 11:10 pm):

    No way. I make $18 an hour at Safeway and so does my wife. The difference between Walmart and Target is Walmart isn’t unionized and pays very low wages. We have to drive our daughter across town twice a day because we don’t have neighborhood schools, she drives, I pick up. We can’t have dinner together because of this. If you combine the stupid neighborhood schools policy of SFUSD with Walmart, we’ll be forced out of San Francisco and our daughter will not speak Russian. We also have parents and another daughter who is starting school next year. Our parents don’t speak English. This is a terrible idea. We already can’t have dinner together, if Walmart takes over we’ll make $10.75 each instead of 18 with no benefits and not only will we only have dinner twice a week together, but probably less as we’ll have to work overtime or sell drugs or do something illegal. My cousin moved to Sacramento and his son speaks no Russian and he makes $7 an hour at Walmart. You can’t live in San Francisco on 10.75 an hour. It isn’t fair. Target is at least Unionized.

  76. Frank Valkov said (02/20/13; 11:11 pm):

    And Target pays a lot more, I believe starts at 13 and most make 16 or more. Look it up but it’s not 10.75. That’s a cruel suggestion and that’s why I don’t shop at Fresh and Easy. They are Union Busters!

  77. Rob S. said (02/21/13; 8:41 pm):

    @phil Buddy you sound like a compleate moron. Someone that can’t have an open discussion without going off into left field shows how stupid and childish you are. WALMART is an all-american company! GET OVER IT! There guarantee war vets a job waiting for them when they come back from afghanastan, no questions asked. Now that sounds like an honest company to anybody with a brain to them. I know guys (personally) that come back from war that can’t land a job. They still need to feed themselves, and WALMART fulfills that role. It may not be a gold mine are far as salary goes, but they employee those who can’t secure a high paying job. Employment is good for the economy and WALMART is the ultamate employer. The people that shop there are low to middle class that need a break. So that is the purpose of WALMART. Don’t villainize a company that gives a break to people on the brink and supports our troops and community.

  78. renee said (02/22/13; 12:05 am):

    Please, Rob. You chastised Phil for calling you a troll, now you are using terms like “complete moron,” “stupid,” and “childish” to characterize someone whose opinion you disagree with. How about just agreeing to disagree? Can we keep this a civilized blog? It certainly started out this way.

  79. phil said (02/22/13; 3:02 am):

    @rob I know a sows ear when I see one, like any thinking person would. In fact, it doesn’t take a genius to see the harm that WalMart has done to the American worker, and American commerce. Tell me, Rob, how many of the $$$ that WalMart makes go back into the small local communities whose commerce WalMart has gutted? I want some facts, not just rants.

    What astounds me is that you – or anyone else – would fall for WalMart’s garbage PR stunts, like hiring military vets, and making a big deal out of it. LOTS of companies give preference to vets, and there are even Federal incentives in place to encourage companies to do just that. So, you would rather see a vet go to work at WalMart, where – if he has a family of three – his opening pay qualifies him for food stamps…which means that the taxpayer is picking up part of WalMart’s “benefit” to that vet.

    Also, in your rush to call me names, you forget to answer the queries I put to you in my last post. How about that? How about coming along with some FACTS, instead of emotional opinion? Anyone can get all amped up about their favorite thing – yours, being WalMart, but it appears when you are getting called out on empty opinion, you come up lacking.

    So, since you seem reluctant to do your own research, I will do some for you. Can you imagine being enlightened by someone you have called a moron? Well, Rob, there’s always a first time; I hope you’re not too embarrassed.

    Rob, I like this one, because it’s all in pictures, and I like pictures – they tell stories. I hope you like this story, because it’s one of the most addictive infographics I’ve ever seen about the pure evil that WalMart is:
    http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022278343

    Rob, Here’s a nice comparison of Military Pay Vs. WalMart’s pittance. Gee, they really help those vets, don’t they – NOT!
    http://news.yahoo.com/military-salary-versus-walmart-pay-170011814–abc-news-money.html

    WlaMart’s Human Trafficking Problem
    http://news.yahoo.com/military-salary-versus-walmart-pay-170011814–abc-news-money.html

    The evils of why communist Wal-Mart is ruining America. The True facts. (nice soundtrack, Rob – hope you enjoy it!)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6OC9JgLxM4

    Top Reasons the Walton Family and Walmart are NOT “Job Creators (with citations)
    http://walmart1percent.org/top-reasons-the-walton-family-and-walmart-are-not-job-creators/

    Comparison Shop WalMart: No Significant Savings And Damage To Local Economy
    http://venturacountydemocrats.com/comparison-shop-walmart-no-significant-savings-and-damage-to-local-economy/

    WalMart: Leading the Race to the Bottom
    http://www.globalexchange.org/sweatfree/walmart/racetobottom

    The Damage of WalMart
    http://www.northern-iowan.org/the-damage-of-walmart-1.2361497

    Corporate Greed Alert: WalMart Cutting Health Care Benefits
    http://www.alternet.org/newsandviews/article/684007/corporate_greed_alert%3A_wal-mart_cutting_healthcare_benefits_for_its_workers

    Chain of Greed: How Walmart’s Domestic Outsourcing Produces Everyday Low Wages and Poor Working Conditions for Warehouse Workers
    http://www.discountfoundation.org/report/walmart_chain_of_greed

    There’s lots more, but I’ll stop here.

    One more thing: I and the MAJORITY of Richmond residents who have time will be lobbying HARD against ANY attempt by your lame “hero”, Walmart to get its grimy, greedy, seedy paws on our neighborhood.

  80. ALY said (02/22/13; 12:54 pm):

    @Rob – is there any particular reason for your “shouting”? We all here can read, even if not spell.
    Your patriotic cry Wal-Mart is better than Target ’cause it is “all-american” is rather amusing, considering that Target is an American corporation second in size only to WM. Both are publically traded multinational corporations with investors from all over the world with major operation in Mexico, Brazil, China and India. The wages WM pays, however, that you seem to think veterans need to feed themselves, are not a cent over minimum wage. As far as I am concerned, veterans deserve better jobs and better pay. Not to mention that WM gives the old jobs back to some veterans, but WM had no presence in SF, so ther is nothing to give back. Also most veterans I ever worked with had much more sophisticated set of skills that is required by WM checkout clerk, so getting a job at WM when they get back, because it is the only game in their home town, is not much of a benefit.

  81. bicyclesalad said (02/22/13; 2:33 pm):

    @ALY, @Rob S.-

    Now that you brought it up, Target’s corporate headquarters are in Minneapolis, MN. I know this because I used to work there. (Emphasis on “used to.” I have no affiliation with the company now.)

    Target also has a separate charitable foundation that gives part of its profits to the communities it has stores in. A number of schools have arts and music programs thanks to Target’s school outreach program. Target also funds the monthly Family Day free-admission days at local museums such as the Asian Art Museum in Civic Plaza. The company also encourages employees from their corporate offices to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity and other community organizations.

    I am aware that Wal-Mart has its own charitable foundation and has escalated its donations and funding of nonprofits in the last ten years, largely because of the negative publicity the corporation has generated. However, the company tends to favor religious/church-based organizations, “alternative schools” (those that encourage creationist, fundamentalist views in their curriculum) and to the Boy Scouts of America, which at last glance, still refuses to admit gay Scouts or Scoutmasters. They also contribute a ton of money to conservative organizations like the Heritage Foundation and the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation. (Wonder why? *sarcasm*)

    http://reclaimdemocracy.org/walmart-charity/

    I realize some people in this forum might applaud this sort of charitable giving, but again, does this fit the values of the Richmond neighborhood or San Francisco in general?

  82. phil said (02/22/13; 7:20 pm):

    About WalMart’s “charity”. Here’s a cogent analysis that puts their so-called “charity” in perspective.
    http://reclaimdemocracy.org/walmart-charity/

    Furthermore, WalMart could start being more “charitable” by paying a living wage! In fact, their “charity” hardly makes up for the devastation that they have caused, worldwide. Sweat shops in China? WalMartt is the largest supporter of those sweatshops. This is a bottom-feeding, souless company – run by an ignorant family that supports Creationism; that works against women’s rights; that guts communities – and then uses a few hundred million dollars (or their $90BILLION) to paint over their abuse. Sickening!

    The WalMart family, as far as I’m concerned – contrary to their “wave the flag” image – is a traitorous organization, mangling traditional American values in their greedy pursuit of the almighty Dollar.

    No way are they going to gain easy entree into this neighborhood, and it they do, expect that they will be picketed, mercilessly, for the entire tenure of their stay.

    the next time you see a picture of a child laborer, think about WalMart; they probably have a piece in that tragedy.

  83. Rob S. said (02/22/13; 10:00 pm):

    @ phil,
    So now SF should discriminate aginst businesses based upon the owners religion? What the walton family has done is prove that with hard work and vision, a small store (that started out just like all the small businesses here) can become a successful empire. The have-nots will always be jealous and envious of those who are successful. A character assassination on the walton family based on their personal beliefs has nothing to do with opening a store. The person who started walmart (Sam Walton) worked like a dog to build this company from the ground up with no help from the community or overbaring government. He was smart not to sell out his company, he preserved it for his family to benifit from and it is one of the few privately owned complanys in the US. That is something to be proud of not ashamed of. I’m not here to debate WALMARTs business practices, but what I do belive that its presence would be a great thing for this neighborhood.

  84. phil said (02/22/13; 10:49 pm):

    @Rob

    This has nothing to do with discrimination, and everything to do with what kind of companies the people of the Richmond District wants in their midst. We have a right to try to exclude (or try to exclude) businesses that we believe fail to meet the ethical standards that resonate with those who live here. Sam Walton’s hard work notwithstanding, WalMart (as shown in the links I posted) does not have the ethical stance or values that people in San Francisco want in their midst.

  85. DJ said (02/23/13; 11:51 am):

    Bravo, Phil. Bravo!

  86. Marian said (02/24/13; 7:24 am):

    Walmart is already in San Francisco they deliver via http://www.walmart.com/togo which is their grocery delivery service. I use it every week as they are half the price of safeway. Stop moaning about stuff and save yourself some money.

  87. phil said (02/24/13; 2:16 pm):

    @Marian Of course, it’s your choice to spend your money any way you want. I’m not going to judge you, but will remind you that when you purchase something at WalMart, you are helping to contribute to the degradation of workers, the environment, local enterprise, abuse of workers, and many other wrongdoings committed by what just a generation ago would have been called a criminal organization.

    Last, do we really, in the long run, save ourselves money when we spend our dollars in ways that decimate human and environmental ecology? What is the opportunity cost of our dollars, spent elsewhere?

    Last, nobody is “moaning”. Those who don’t want WalMart here are *advocating* for the moral, ethical, social, and neighborhood values that they prefer – and that is their *perfect right* in a Democracy. Democratic advocacy is the lifeblood of our culture, something that Corporate bullies like WalMart have managed to legislate to the back room. We’re just waking up to that fact, as a nation. Expect that WalMart and other companies like WalMart are gong to feel the direct weight of that advocacy from now on. Never again!

  88. Egg said (02/25/13; 11:33 am):

    I’m not rich and I’ve been working the same temp job for over a year without benefits or vacation pay.
    I can’t afford a lot of the upscale boutiques and mom and pop store prices in San Francisco.

    If a big box store have the goods I want as a good price to stretch out my current paycheck a little farther, so be it

    This WalMart version is on a smaller grocery-only scale…not a mega store.

    Screw political correctness…I need to get food on the table…and clean underwear is nice.

  89. phil said (02/25/13; 12:11 pm):

    @egg Hope things pick up for you. There are a ton of small mom and pop food stores up and down Clement and Geary that sell produce and other items as cheap as WalMart does. $.79 per pound for broccoli, etc. WAY cheaper than even places like Fresh and Easy. Then, there’s Goodwill, on Clement. I go there all the time. Last week I scored a $1000.00 Hickey-Freeman sport coat for $10.00. Lots of really good stuff in there – also, the other thrift shops in the Richmond. Craig’s list is a great place to find a good deal.

    The point is we have options without having to resort to a soul-killing, environment-killing, union-busting company, like WalMart.

  90. Egg said (02/26/13; 1:34 pm):

    The problem I find with San Francisco neighborhood shopping is killing one’s day going from location to location to location…on top of waiting for the MUNI bus and lugging the bags aboard for a crowded jerky ride home.

    Under a big box, it’s one stop shopping for the most part as a time saver…and hoping to have some funds leftover for the next visit and time enough for other chores and social occasions.

    Different strokes…

  91. EDLEE said (03/1/13; 5:00 pm):

    WHAT ROB S SAID. Preach brotha!

  92. Maqui said (03/2/13; 10:05 pm):

    Where does one buy underwear in the Richmond District aside from Ross? I think it would be great if Fresh and Easy could just start selling underwear… I would shop there more. ;)

  93. Fresh & Easy parent company to close all stores; unclear who will take over | Richmond SF Blog said (04/19/13; 6:45 am):

    [...] In January, Tesco told customers via email, “We want to assure you: we don’t have plans to close stores.” At the time, Tesco was on the hunt for a buyer for the nearly 200 store chain. There were even rumors of talks with Walmart. [...]

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