Friday, August 01, 2008

Stopping BJs

As Crain's Insider is reporting there's a move afoot to stop the proliferation of BJs Warehouse Clubs in Brooklyn. As Crain's points out: "United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1500 is gearing up to stop two BJ’s Wholesale Club locations from opening in Brooklyn. One project, in Bensonhurst, requires City Council approval. UFCW is counting on Councilman Domenic Recchia to ensure that BJ’s won’t be a tenant. Recchia is a friend of labor but also of developer Joe Sitt. UFCW’s Pat Purcell says BJ’s pays poorly and shuns low-income customers by charging a membership fee and not accepting food stamps. The union is also trying to keep BJ’s out of the Brooklyn Terminal Market in Canarsie. “We will spare no expense,” Purcell vows."

What the UFCW is trying to do is to prevent the further erosion of neighborhood supermarkets. In a two mile radius of the Brooklyn Terminal Market there are 26 local stores that will be put at risk by the box store. At the same time that the mayor, and his able aide Ben Thomasses, are talking about supermarket preservation, there's no effort to curtail the box stores that will put these stores at greater risk. Something needs to be done, and the Alliance will be part of this effort.