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7-11 Launches Direct Frontal Assault Against Mayor Bloomberg

from Crain’s New York

Chain pain on Lower East Side

Locals take big gulp over opening of 7-Eleven on Avenue A.

image lifted from weEATny - click to visitLower East Siders have found something they fear and loathe even more than banks and Starbucks—7-Eleven—and they’re not going to take it anymore. The global convenience-store giant, with its garish orange-and-green logo and blinding batteries of fluorescent lights, has already opened four locations in the neighborhood. Another is scheduled to open this spring at Avenue A and East 11th Street.

In response, dozens of community activists and residents gathered last week at Father’s Heart Ministries church just up the street to discuss ways to stop the chain before time runs out.

“It’s a total invasion of the soul snatchers,” warned Bob Holman, proprietor of the recently closed Bowery Poetry Club, who showed up at the meeting sporting yards of heavy steel chains wrapped around his torso. “It’s the blandification of America.”

The world’s largest convenience store operator, franchisor and licensor is in the midst of an aggressive expansion in Manhattan. In the past two years, the Dallas-based chain, famous for its Big Gulps and Slurpees, has quadrupled its store count in the borough to 32, from eight previously. Another 20 are planned for this year.

Locals charge that 7-Eleven is tearing the fabric of the Lower East Side, saying that the stores stick out like visitors from another planet. Others complain that the chain is taking business away from small grocers, newsstands and bodegas, and they are fighting back with a barrage of boycotts, bumper stickers and marches.

[ click to continue reading at Crain’s ]

Posted on January 23, 2013 by Editor

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