No 7-Eleven

Resisting Chain Stores and Corporate Control

Press Release

No 7-Eleven – New Yorkers respond to 7-Eleven calling their neighborhood a “target.”

‘No 7-Eleven’ is a grassroots campaign by New Yorkers taking a stand against the increasing flood of chain stores like 7-Eleven which threaten the free market, damage the local economy and whitewash the character of our communities. By threatening the free market through sheer volume, 7-Eleven is the corporate equivalent of a top-level predator which, having no natural enemies, invades and overwhelms local ecosystems and destroys native species.

  • 7-Eleven currently has 37 locations in Manhattan, with an additional 100 locations planned by 2017. [Source] 7-Eleven has more than 48,000 locations worldwide, more than Starbucks and McDonalds.
  • After 7-Eleven opened next door to Kyung’s Gourmet Foods in Chelsea they closed. [Source]
  • After 7-Eleven opened next door to Gramercy Corner in Gramercy they closed. [Source]

7-Eleven’s spokespeople have repeatedly referred to the East Village as a “target,” claiming the area is “underserved.” We currently have thirteen local bodegas and delis serving the community in a several block radius around the new 7-Eleven under construction at the corner of 11th Street and Avenue A. What 7-Eleven means is we are “underserved” by them!

During the blackout following Superstorm Sandy in 2012, it was the local businesses with roots in the community that stayed open to provide the neighborhood with much needed food, supplies and generators. Chain stores like 7-Eleven, Starbucks and CVS who have the resources to help communities in emergency situations like Sandy, remained closed in the blackout zone.

The East Village maintains a neighborhood feel despite ongoing gentrification and development. Our local economy and neighborhood character would be severely impacted if allowed to be dominated by a homogeneous, suburban entity like 7-Eleven.

In February of 2011, the New York City Council held a hearing to discuss the economic impact WalMart would have should it succeed in opening locations in New York City. Politicians testified a WalMart would easily drive local businesses into bankruptcy. Curiously, the New York City Council has been silent about 7-Eleven’s recent influx into the boroughs despite having a similar detrimental effect on surrounding businesses.

The ‘No 7-Eleven’ movement is a multigenerational, multiethnic group of New Yorkers all of whom voted unanimously to fight 7-Eleven’s ‘Corporate Manifest Destiny.’ We will maintain the integrity of our community through our website, outreach, rallies, boycotts, zoning amendments and political pressure from our elected officials. Our goal is to start a national dialogue about the way large corporations infiltrate existing neighborhoods and the effect they have on local economies and community character.

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