No Love for Chain Stores in Fort Greene

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What do Fort Greene shoppers want? Not chain stores, that’s for sure. According to a survey just released by the Fort Greene Association, 81 percent of the 380 respondents said that they either “strongly” or “somewhat” preferred shopping at independent stores over chain. Another interesting stat: Only about two-thirds of those polled said that they were “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to have their daily shopping needs met by stores in Fort Greene; the satisfaction rate was a much-higher 86 percent when it came to restaurants and bars.

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  • A perfect example of people responding to a survey the way the believe they are “supposed” to respond – a bias caused by the identification of the polling group.

    A little bit of “qualitative” research shows that these same people were applauding the arrival of the Walgreen’s on Myrtle because they hated shopping at the half dozen independent pharmacies in the area.

    We love to hate the big guys but we sure enjoy their pricing, convenience and sometimes product.

  • Walgreen’s makes an excellent bag of Doritos.

  • Everyone wants chain stores, they just don’t want them in there neighborhood. NIMBY.

  • is NIMBY meant to be an insult? It isn’t.

  • I guess this is why all those chain stores in Fort Greene, like Target and Old Navy and Modell’s and Buffalo Wild Wings, are always deserted when I go in them.

  • My old local bookstore owner would give me a dirty look if I persued a magazine. At Broders I can get a cup of coffee and read an entire magazine in a very nice environment. I prefer Borders.

  • There are two ways to look at it:

    1) stated versus observed preferences,
    2) all things equal, people prefer independents. All things aren’t equal.

  • “people prefer independents”

    Higher prices, less selection vs the opposite

    Which people are these?

  • 10:12

    Your comment sounds quite profound but is meaningless.

    Isn’t that the whole issue? Independents can’t provide the service and inventory at the price a chain can – therefore people shop at chains.

    I don’t think “all things” could ever be equal. It is what gives independents some advantages over chain stores and viceversa.

    However, people will always choose lower prices and conveniece.

  • Eventually people get tired of the same old offerings from chain stores and stop patronizing them. Unless a store stays current with the wants of the local community it will fail.

  • I don’t think there’s necessarily hypocrisy here. People want to shop at independent stores, but don’t find everything they need at the ones in fort greene/ clinton hill. The independent stores in the neighborhood could do a much better job catering to the people shopping here and keeping Ft Greene/ Clinton Hill dollars in the neighborhood. Some people are surely put off by higher prices, but for me at least, it really is usually about finding what I’m looking for (or not). In my experience the local chain stores aren’t much better than the independents in offering a good selection of in-stock items. I often end up going to Manhattan or other Brooklyn neighborhoods because I know I’m more likely to find what I’m looking for there.

  • Nimby = a selfish entitled viewpoint concerned only with ones immediate and purely personal agenda.

    If you don’t find that insulting then you have severe problem.

  • 10:45 Yes I too often tire of soap, shampoo, milk, bread, prescriptions, etc….

  • Well, now that we know the downtown brooklyn Ihop is top in the COUNTRY, and the Brooklyn Target is their top selling store in the COUNTRY I guess the data shows that people really do prefer independents. I imagine when Ikea opens nobody will shop there, preferring their local futon shop. Probably.

  • There’s plenty of room for chain stores AND independent retailers. Furthermore, forms of both will always be present in Brooklyn. It’s not an either-or situation.

  • 9:57, when are you shopping? Because every time I go in the Target and Old Navy you’d think they were giving stuff away. Tons of patrons and long lines. Modells is never overly crowded, but of the seven or eight times a year I’m in there, there are always 4-5 people on line at the register. About the only store I’d agree with you on is Buffalo Wild Wings and that’s based on the ONE time I was there. I’ve heard from others that its a madhouse any afternoon/evening where a big sporting event occurs.

  • 11:30. Sorry, I should have used my and html tags.

    All those stores seem to do extremely well, despite the locals’ expressed preference for independents.

  • The Blimpie on Lafayette didn’t do so well.

  • Connecticut Muffin is comming to Lafayette Avenue near Corcoran. I can’t wait.

  • I agree there is room for both just keep the chains stores in someones else neighborhood.

    why destroy every neighborhood when we could just sacrifice a few (ft greene, downtown, red hook).

    no pun intended.

  • I could be very happy in Williamsburg with nothing but thousands of condos and one really big Walmart there at metropolitan and union. One stop shopping for all my household, automotive, gardening, grocery, meat, dairy, and $4 prescriptions. I’d never have to drive my car anywhere and spend an hour looking for parking like now nor pay outrageous prices for the same namebrands the chains carry. In the event that I wanted something really unique and exotic like Key Foods tortilla chips I could still go to the small rip off store.

  • A lot of the people shopping at Target and the other big stores in that area of Ft Greene (even, inexplicably, Pathmark) aren’t residents of the neighborhood. People travel from other parts of Brooklyn to shop there, so the lines aren’t indicative of locals’ patterns of chain store shopping. Obviously some people from the neighborhood are there too (including me every once in a while). It isn’t necessary to point out that there are very different demographics of people living within the bounds of Ft Greene, and these groups have quite different shopping preferences. It’s probably fair to say that wealthier residents would rather/ can afford to choose to shop at independent stores whereas poorer ones want less expensive things.

  • it take more than a little bath and body works facial scrub for me, sweetie.

    who ARE you people who wash with irish spring and dove shampoo???

    you do know that stuff is total crap, right??

  • 11:30 – I think you missed the sarcasm in 9:57′s post.

  • 10:49 -

    It is ALL about the price and convenience. The hypocacry is that given the choice of making one stop do get all one’s goods or three to purchase the same – 81% of the people are not making the 3 stops.

    I’m sure you drive to all those other neighborhoods to shop unlike most.

    Just because you can’t get your sweet cherry flavored anal lube in Clinton Hill doesn’t mean that they local pharmacies are doing a poor job of knowing their clientele. You are the exception not the rule.

  • Biff Champion

    I’m surprised there’s not a bit more sympathy for the moms and pops and recognition WHY they have to charge higher prices by not having the purchasing power of the Wal-Marts of the world. Thus, they are easy targets (pun intended) for being undercut and driven out of business. I found this film interesting….
    WAL-MART: The High Cost of Low Price

  • 11:13, certainly you’re not so dense as to not understand that what 10:45 meant was the same BRANDS of stuff, not “items.” No one tires of soap, shampoo, milk, bread, prescriptions, but ppl eventually tire of not being able to find anything beyond the same 2-3 limited brands of soap, shampoo, milk, bread, etc that chains often come stocked with.

    BTW, I have nothing against chain stores, but by the same token, I find the praise of them at the expense of independents ridiculous. It makes me wonder if the people who hate independents so much *really* have any experience shopping at these places.

  • You’re right 1:14. I’m sure NOBODY here has ever shopped at an independent. Hell, before Target finally came I used to drive all the way out to Long Island to buy toilet paper.

    The problem is that many of us have tried to and found that the selection is lacking or the prices to be ridiculous. More people would accept the higher prices if they either found everything they needed or received service above and beyond what is found in a chain. For the most part, I find the service is horrible at both.

    One example of an independent run correctly is Sister’s hardware on Fulton. Although they may not have everything you can find at Home Depot they have most of what you need for everyday projects. Yes, they are a bit more expensive but when I go in there I know I can find somebody to help me, ask them a question and get a helpful reply.

  • The lines at Target and Old Navy are due mostly to understaffing the cash registers. Same as they do at Pathmark.

  • I don’t see this as an “either/or” issue. For example, when I food shop, I go to Sahadis, a local greengrocer, and perelandra’s health food store. But when I need household items, like cleaning products and toothpaste, I shop at Target. I think a combination of chains and independents is ideal.

  • Amen, 1:34. I live near Leopoldi’s on 5th and while they can’t beat Lowe’s or Home Depot pricewise, if I need any–and I mean ANY–expertise at all, I go to Leopoldi’s. The people who work at Lowe’s and Home Depot are either clueless or don’t give a frog’s fat ass.

  • Biff Champion

    There are people working at Home Depot? You could of fooled me!

  • Biff Champion

    You could “have” fooled me…please hold off on writing me that ticket, grammar cops.

  • “Hell, before Target finally came I used to drive all the way out to Long Island to buy toilet paper.”

    So you spent an extra couple dollars on gasoline and added a few extra pounds of CO2 to the atmosphere to save 10 cents on Charmin?

    Wow, how earth friendly of you!!!

  • I’ve made a conscious decision to stay away from chains, if I can find something at an independent.

    I’m a big fan of the SuperSavers on 7th Avenue just south of Union. They have great health and beauty supplies for the same price as Duane Reade, but I’ll go out of my way to make sure places like that get my business and stay in business…

  • Sorry Biff, once they start writing the ticket–it’s too late.

  • uh 1:14 that was my point. you are supporting my argument.

    what chain drugstore or supermarket only has: “the same 2-3 limited brands of soap, shampoo, milk, bread, etc that chains often come stocked with.” in general large chains have more variety than mom and pops.

  • mom and pops have better brands though.

    walmart has all the crappy, chinese made lead based soaps.

    the mom and pops have the nice, organic fruit based merchandise made in vermont.

    i’ll spend the extra on the latter. i have one body afterall.

  • lush and the body shop are mom and pops? if not these there are plenty of high end chains that have what your looking for. im not arguing for or against chains but its just not true that a small independent store necessarily offers better or more choices. some do some don’t. if you want to argue against chain stores pick a different argument.

  • Some more sarcasm missed but 1:52

  • Papi only sells Tropical Fantasy Soda

  • Who cares who owns a store? And frankly alot of “chain stores” are actually owned by a real Mom and Pop (like every Subway store and Keyfood for examples).

    If a store is convenient (by location and HOURS), provides good service, good prices and a decent environment I’ll shop there.

  • There are most definitely ethical reasons for opposing wal-mart type stores. I highly suggest anyone who is interested in the subject to read this book:

    http://www.amazon.com/Wal-Mart-Effect-Powerful-Works-Transforming/dp/0143038788/ref=pd_bbs_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1204142317&sr=8-1

  • Biff Champion

    Good one 2:10!

  • I wish mom and pops stayed open longer.

    How in the world, when most of us work till at least 6 are we supposed to do any shopping when all these places are closed by 7?

    It makes no sense.

    7th Avenue in the Slope could do so much better if every business stayed open one hour longer.

    I always see people walking by on my way home from work and are disturbed when the place is already closed. At 7:10pm.

    It’s insane. This is NYC!

  • Leopoldi’s was closed all day on Sundays before Home Depot opened. But then they had to step up their game, and open for a few hours Sunday morning.

    Another victory for consumer choice.

  • I love Leopoldi’s. I just wish I could get there before they close on weekdays.

    And I don’t work that late…

  • fuck chains. you want chains? move your ass to surburbia

  • I’m sorry that Seven Corners Hardware closed in Fort Greene. It was convenient for the basics (and a lung full of cigarette smoke when you went in). The owner, who also owns the building, wanted to retire. Most of the people like the INIMITABLE Alison found jobs.

    We could use some more local stores in FG, yes. Martin still hasn’t put a tenant in his former Seven Corners Hardware…the failure of a restaurant GIA sits closed up…there are a couple of other spots that are not being utilized.

    I avoid the “mall” and try never to give the chain stores there any money.

    I shop for food and household sundries at the Park Slope Food Coop. The lines are much faster since the debit card system was installed at all registers/checkouts October 1st last year.

  • I only want chains when it snows a lot, which in NYC is never.

  • 10.51 – i guess you wnat to help homeless people but you’re not going to house them in your spare room. NIMBY = honest. You = hypocrite. No, NIMBY is not an insult.